Michigan's longest dog sled race canceled for first time, melting snow to blame
Michigan’s longest dog sled race has been canceled for the first time in history.
The Upper Peninsula Dog Sled Association announced today the UP200 — along with its Midnight Run and Jack Pine 30 — are all canceled due to poor weather conditions.
Association President Darlene Walch said days of warm weather and rain showers melted too much snow on sections of the 220-mile track.
“We estimated early this morning that about 40% of our trail all the way from Marquette to Grand Marais will be impacted that way,” Walch said. “There was no way we could remedy the trails at that point.”
Up to 40 teams participate in the race, which typically draws hundreds of spectators. The race has never before been canceled in its 33-year history.
In 2012, the race was altered at the last minute due to weather when temperatures in the UP reached 60 degrees.
Even though the race is canceled, the Festival of the Sled Dog is still happening Friday. Participants can expect to see dogs and enjoy some food, bonfires, and other activities.
“This is a first for us and we appreciate the support of the community as we pivot to a festival format,” Walch said in a press release.
“This is an incredibly difficult decision to make after the months of work already put in by mushers, volunteers, sponsors and board."