2022 UP200 Mushers

1. Andre Longchamps, Pont-Rouge, Quebec

Kennel Name: Trilongmiles Kennel
Sponsors: None
Major Breed or Bloodline: Aubut / Longchamps
Lead Dog(s): Herbie, Levis
Number of Years Racing: 20
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I am the third generation of musher in my family.
Where have you raced? Can-am 250 Maine many times!!! UP 200, many times. Taiga200, won twice. Greenville 70-100, won also.
Have a training or race experience to share? I have been racing with my son for two years. It’s so cool and exciting!


2. Wade Marrs, Willow, Alaska

Kennel Name: Stump Jumpin’ Kennel
Sponsors: Flexadin Advanced, Health Quest Therapy, Mountain Ridge Sled Dog Gear, Dr. Carsons All Natural Supplements
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Jett, Ozzy, Bowie, Dos, Brittany and Kaiser.
Number of Years Racing:20+3
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I was born and raised in the Knik area outside of Wasilla, Alaska. The biggest influences for mushing were my late uncle who had a dog team and the Redington family. I was a quiet kid, learning the ropes of mushing since a young boy, not asking many questions, just listening to words of advice from the many mushers visiting the Redington home in Knik.
Where have you raced? Alaska
Have a training or race experience to share? Way too many awesome mushing stories to just pick one! Come chat!


3. Laura Neese, McMillan, Michigan

Kennel Name: Nature’s Kennel
Sponsors: Royal Canin USA
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Huskies
Lead Dog(s): Elmer, Baker, Jett, Fusion, Chilly, Razor, Witt, Sirius, Radar, Mark, Bode, Line
Number of Years Racing: 10
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing?I was raised on a small farm in Newark, Ohio where I raised Boer goats with my older sister and also participated in 4-H for eight years, training and showing their five family dogs. I fell in love with the sport of dog mushing and long distance racing at the age of nine, when my family followed the Iditarod as a homeschool project. After four years of learning everything I could about the sport, I started a small kennel in Ohio and began running short races in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I graduated from high school at age 16 and then went on to receive an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology at Penn Foster College two years later. In 2014 I moved to McMillan, Michigan, to pursue my dream of long distance racing at Nature’s Kennel in the Upper Peninsula. I have been blessed with the opportunity to train and race our Nature’s Kennel teams throughout North America for the past seven years. I have competed in the Yukon Quest, Iditarod, Percy DeWolfe, Canadian Challenge, Eagle Cap Extreme, Idaho Sled Dog Challenge, UP200, CanAm 250, Beargrease Marathon, Gunflint Mail Run, and the Wyoming Stage Stop Race.
Where have you raced? Michigan, Minnesota, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming, Alaska,
Maine, New Hampshire, Yukon Territory, and Saskatchewan.
Have a training or race experience to share?  One of my favorite races was the 2015 UP200. It was my second Iditarod qualifier and it all seemed a bit like a dream, especially when we came in to the finish line in second place after Ryan Anderson. Great memories and a phenomenal dog team.


4. Mary Manning, Hovland, Minnesota

Kennel Name: Doodledog Kennel
Sponsors: Canine Health Forward
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan huskies
Lead Dog(s): Luck, Skuf, Argo
Number of Years Racing: 25
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I enjoy my time on the runners and wanted to challenge myself to be better. I have raced off and on as life would allow and now I have the opportunity and the support to get out and race more. My goal is team improvement and continuing to help my dogs reach their potential.
Where have you raced? Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Maine, Wisconsin
Have a training or race experience to share? A few years ago on the UP200 trail I was super sleepy-I even fell asleep once and tipped the sled over. I was seeing things occasionally and saw flashes of light ahead of me from time to time, even though I was in the middle of nowhere and sure there was no one near me. I figured I really needed some sleep! When I got to the checkpoint later another musher asked if that was me behind her on the trail…turned out she was seeing my light off and on and looking back once in a while with hers on-I was not just seeing things! I did get a good nap in before hitting the trail again!


5. Kristin McCarty, Babbitt, MN

Kennel Name: Hauling Dogs
Sponsors: None
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Soar, Flora, Roll
Number of Years Racing: 2
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I met my husband.
Where have you raced? MN, WI
Have a training or race experience to share?  Last year, during back to back training runs, we left our dog Gypsy behind in the trailer to rest. She is small (25lbs) but mighty. When we returned to the trailer we found that she had broken out of her dog box and donned an extra-large harness. We’ve never had the heart to tell her that she wears an extra small.


6. Liza Dietzen Weaver, Wallace, Michigan

Kennel Name: Team Evergreen Kennel
Sponsors: Northern Michigan University, and many loyal friends and family
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Huskies
Lead Dog(s): Kite, Nymph, Sapphire
Number of Years Racing: 11
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? When I was little I learned about Balto at my elementary school and what better way to combine my love for animals and winter than with dogsledding.
Where have you raced? Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin
Have a training or race experience to share?  I’m running this year’s race in honor of the “Bird” and “Guitar” litters who were the start of Team Evergreen back in 2006 and all it has become. They have since all passed from this Earth but their spirits remain a part of this team always. And a huge thanks to David Gill who brought Team Evergreen into my life and has never stopped cheering for us, even in the background and out of sight. I regret nothing.


7. Keith Aili, Ray, Minnesota

Kennel Name: Miles Ahead Racing Kennel
Sponsors: none
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Wilder, Rolo, and Simba
Number of Years Racing: 30+
Where have you raced? Raced in many states including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine, and Alaska.


8. Ward Wallin, Two Harbors, Minnesota

Kennel Name: Silver Creek Sled Dogs
Sponsors: MDH Construction, Betty’s Pies, Julie’s Variety and Hardware, Zup’s, Silver Bay Family Dental, Root River Photography
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan husky
Lead Dog(s): Marlin, Misty, Happy, Harper
Number of Years Racing: 28
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? Why not?
Where have you raced? MN, MI, WI, ME
Have a training or race experience to share? Can’t wait to race the UP200 again after missing a couple years!


9. Nathan Schroeder, Goodland, Minnesota

Kennel Name: Nathan Schroeder Mushing
Sponsors: Carmibug
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan
Lead Dog(s): Nora, Quinn, Elm, Tucker (Poopy)
Number of Years Racing: 20-30
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I got a ride behind a team of malamutes when I was in 5th grade. Hooked ever since.
Where have you raced? Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine, Alaska
Have a training or race experience to share?  2014 Iditarod Rookie of the Year.


10. Nick Vigilante, Ely, Minnesota

Kennel Name: Nathan Schroeder Mushing
Sponsors: Chilly Dogs
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan
Lead Dog(s): Buffy, Burnie, Donald, Kalie, Texas, Togo maybe more
Number of Years Racing: 2
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? Because it is fun
Where have you raced? Minnesota, Michigan
Have a training or race experience to share?  Looking forward to a good race season this year.


11. Ryan Anderson, St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin

Kennel Name: AnderTier
Sponsors: Dr. Carpentier
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Quincy, Oak, Muskie, Sturgeon, Gable, James, Tito
Number of Years Racing: 30+
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? Family had sled dogs when I was a kid
Where have you raced? MN, WI, MI, AK, ME, ID, WY, MT, UT, Manitoba, Ontario
Have a training or race experience to share?  Looking forward to be back at the races.


12. Kevin Malikowski, Outing, Minnesota

Kennel Name: winter night sled dogs
Sponsors: myself
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan
Lead Dog(s): Faline, Gertie
Number of Years Racing: 35
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? It’s a sport that’s just you and the dogs
Where have you raced? Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maine, UP, Manitoba
Have a training or race experience to share? Running under northern lights at Hudson Bay.


13. Bailey Cross Vitello, Milan, New Hampshire

Kennel Name: Team Bailey
Sponsors: N/A
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Slough, Cope, Taully, YoYa, Tigris, Rio
Number of Years Racing: 20
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I am a second generation musher. My parents started mushing when I was born and I have had a love for the sport and dogs ever since.
Where have you raced? I have raced from coast to coast in the lower 48 as well as in Alaska and Canada. I have also traveled to France and competed in the world championships and La Grande Odyssee with my team.
Have a training or race experience to share? Competing at the La Grande Odysee in France was the experience of a lifetime. Traversing the French Alps with mushers from all over the world and my team is something I will never forget. It was a lot of hard work but it gave me a lot of appreciation for our mountains and hills in the USA which fail to compare to their mountains that reach beyond the clouds.


14. Gregg Vitello, Milan, New Hampshire

Kennel Name: Northern Exposure
Sponsors: N/A
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Gregg, Wasp, Aztec, Inca, Judy, Carol
Number of Years Racing: 25
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I got involved in the sport about 25 years ago and have been hooked ever since. I enjoy being out on the trails with my team and my son Bailey.


15. Ashley Patterson, Shirley Mills, Maine

Kennel Name: Lone Wolf Racing
Sponsors: Mountain Ridge Dog Sledding Equipment
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Wombat, Opossum, Griffin, Prince
Number of Years Racing: 24
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I don’t know who to blame, it was my desire more than anyone else.
Where have you raced? Can-Am in Fort Kent, ME; Greenville ME 100+70 races; UP 200
Have a training or race experience to share?  I once had to take my leader out of lead 100′ from the finish line in a 250 mile race. I missed 3rd place by 3 minutes.


16. Talia Martens, Brule, Wisconsin

Kennel Name: Martens Mushing
Sponsors: n/a
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Huskies
Lead Dog(s): Moses, Radar, Bear, Shazam, Syd, Snap, Peaches, Oreo
Number of Years Racing: 12
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? Dog mushing has been in the family. My mom got me and my younger brother hooked and I been doing it ever since I could walk.
I absolutely love dogs and how this sport makes you think outside of the box. Getting to know each dog’s personality and the way they role is one of my favorite parts.

Where have you raced? I have raced all over the Midwest plus Alaska.


17. Jennifer Freking, Finland, Minnesota

Kennel Name: Manitou Crossing Kennels
Sponsors: Wintergreen Northern-wear
Major Breed or Bloodline: Siberian Husky
Lead Dog(s): Gabi, Todd, Saga
Number of Years Racing: 33
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? My parents had a team of Siberian Huskies before I was born. I grew up enjoying the company of Tyco, one of the retires, and enjoying the stories and photos of the teams. When I was 8 yrs old, my parents got me a dogsled for Christmas. My first team consisted of four dogs all older than I was.
Where have you raced? Midwest, Alaska, Churchill Manitoba, Maine, and Italy!
Have a training or race experience to share?  Building my relationship and trust with each dog is my favorite part of mushing. We work and play with the dogs year round, building that relationship from the day they are born. Sometimes, situations arise that test how strong those bonds are. One fall, I had my gangline break leaving just four dogs with me and the ATV and the other 14 running loose. This is one of the scariest situations for a musher and team as there is risk of dogs getting tangled and injured. Thankfully, was able to yell “Haw” to my leaders of the loose team, turning them left on a one mile dead end trail. When I caught up to them they were all playing, enjoying a drink in the creek crossing, and fluffy tails were wagging everywhere when they saw me rejoining them. I had to repair my gangline, and didn’t want dogs getting more tangled, thus I turned every dog loose while I put a new section of lines in and straightened everything out. I knew home was just a few miles away and trusted any dog that didn’t stick around would go home. Not a single dog strayed more then 20 ft from me! They mingled and played as if we were in the yard then all got hooked back up and we took off as if nothing had happened. Good dogs! 


18. Blake Freking, Finland, Minnesota

Kennel Name: Manitou Crossing Kennels
Sponsors: Wintergreen Northern wear
Major Breed or Bloodline: Siberian Husky
Lead Dog(s): Eagle, Merlin
Number of Years Racing: 24
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I was inspired and intrigued by sled dogs since I was quite young. Like many, I started with one dog skijouring which obviously led to more…
Where have you raced? Lower 48, Canada, Alaska, Russia
Have a training or race experience to share?  My greatest mushing experiences come from working with young pups and seeing them develop into successful sled dogs and seeing them complete races like the UP-200. Their commitment and enthusiasm is inspiring.