Sunny’s Walt Lindala Wins UP200 Volunteer of the Year Award and Mushers Set Out to Win the 27th Annual UP200

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Thanks to the color guard for starting off the opening ceremony.

Marquette, MI February 17, 2017 – Snow was trucked in to transform downtown Marquette into the starting area for the 27th Anniversary UP200 and Midnight Run. Our very own Walt Lindala from the Sunny Morning Show with Walt and Mike emceed at the Opening Ceremony along with Frida Waara from Re/Max.

Walt Lindala showing off his new Volunteer of the Year Award.

The ceremony was quite the spectacle with numerous officials making an appearance. During the event we got to hear from Governor Rick Snyder, Senator Tom Casperson, the President of the Upper Peninsula Dog Sled Association Ron Hewson, and many more! We finally got to reveal the secret around the office too. While on stage, Walt Lindala and Frida Waara were awarded the Bev Stroh Volunteer of the Year Award! Our Walt Lindala has put in 19 years of work with the UP200 and was both floored and honored.

After the Opening Ceremony, the mushers and their teams took off from Washington Street while throngs of onlookers cheered them on. The warm temperatures brought dog sled fans and dog lovers but still want to see the sled dog teams, you can cheer the the Midnight Run Mushers as they begin arriving in Lower Harbor Saturday morning between 8:30 and 11 am. You can also come down to Lower Harbor on Sunday between noon and 3 pm as the UP200 Mushers cross the finish line! Updates will be posted on the UP200 website if you can’t make it so you can see how your favorite mushers are doing.

The Races

UP200 – An Iditarod qualifier, this 12-dog, mid-distance race covers 230 miles of beautiful but challenging terrain from Marquette to Grand Marais and back again. Mushers traverse hills, creek crossings, deep snow, and isolated trails on this trek. Watching the 12-dog teams take off from the starting gate on Washington Street in Marquette is spectacular and a lot of fun!

The first team through the gate!

Midnight Run – This 8-dog, 90 mile race is a faster race than the UP200 and it draws some of the finest mushers and teams in the region. The Midnight Run teams leave thirty minutes after the last UP200 team, but not before 8:30 pm. Competition is fierce so be sure to cheer the mushers on as they return to Lower Harbor on Saturday morning.

Jackpine 30 – This 26-mile race features 6-dog teams and is the shortest race this weekend. The dogs and their mushers take off at 10 am from Larry’s Family Foods in Gwinn. Community members are invited to the start of the race to meet the teams and the mushers. The Awards Ceremony takes place immediately after the race (2-2:30 pm) at Gwinn Baptist Church where awards are given for 1st through 8th place and the commemorative Red Lantern Award for the musher who brings in the final team.

The 2017 UP200 Sled Dog Championship!

The Awards Banquets

The Midnight Run Awards Banquet will be held in Marquette at 4 pm at the Masonic Building and is open to the public. Tickets are available

at the door for $15 or can be purchased at the merchandise room at the Holiday Inn.

The UP200 Awards Breakfast is also open to the public and takes place at the Holiday Inn of Marquette on Monday at 8 am. Tickets are available at the door for $15 or can be purchased at the Holiday Inn merchandise room.

Silent Auction and Merchandise

Don’t forget, there’s a silent auction going on until Sunday at noon at the Holiday Inn in Marquette and you can buy merchandise at the Holiday Inn from 9 am to 3 pm daily until Monday when merchandise will be available 7 am to noon.

Listen to interviews with representatives of the UP200 form earlier in the day.

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Chief Writer, Web Editor at Great Lakes Radio, Inc.
A member of the Great Lakes Radio family since 2013, Nancy can be found working in the web department and helping write scripts for production. When not hard at work writing and editing, if this Sriracha enthusiast isn't experimenting in her kitchen, she can usually be found with her nose in a book or in front of a computer keeping up with her favorite blogs, researching topics for future articles, and playing World of Warcraft... FOR THE HORDE! (BattleTag: GingrMadness#1559)

Nancy's days of chasing little ones around are over for now, but she looks forward to chasing her brand new grandson Liam Michael around (and spoiling him absolutely rotten)!

Always in search of a good red and a great read (or a great red and a mediocre read), Nancy welcomes your suggestions on either.
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