The Midnight Run

2019 Midnight Run Mushers

1. Lynne Witte, Newberry, Michigan

Kennel Name: Iskristall
Sponsors: dogbooties.com
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Puddle, Snow White
Number of Years Racing: 12 years
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I began as a volunteer teacher at the Iditarod in 2000 then began skijoring. Once I switched to a sled I was interested in mid and. Long distance racing .
Where have you raced? Yukon Quest 300 2017
Beargrease 150 2018
MIdnight Run
Copperdog 40,80 and 150

Have a training or race experience to share? (Humorous, scary, adventurous, great memory, etc.) Great memory racing the Yukon River out of Whitehorse – so vast and majestic behind a team of dogs.


Jerry Papke, Kingston, Michigan

Kennel Name: Alder Creek Kennel
Sponsors: none
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan huskies
Lead Dog(s): Anna, Bell
Number of Years Racing: 20
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? For the love of the dogs.
Where have you raced? Midnight Run, Tahquamenon, John Beargrease,
Gunflint Mail Run, Copper Dog

Have a training or race experience to share? Catching a runaway team during a race then riding two sleds with a total of 20 twenty dogs and managing to get them stopped – sort of. Fortunately they didn’t tear my arms off while stopping the teams, the other musher got his team back and we all finished the race. 


3. Kelsey Beaber, Mountain, Wisconsin

Kennel Name: Flying K Kennel
Sponsors: Beaber Construction and Caribou Creek dog food
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Ailer and Tchad
Number of Years Racing: 3
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? My dad had dogs but didn’t race until I started racing with Blair Braverman from Mountain Dogs racing.
Where have you raced? Tahquamenon in Newberry, Apostle Islands, Copperdog the last two years and this will be my third Midnight Run.
Have a training or race experience to share? Let’s just say I have saved my dad’s butt a few times. Last year at this race my dogs turned down a black top road and I eventually got them stopped and turned around but had no brakes until I got to Chatham to fix them. It was an interesting night. I still beat my dad.


4. Ryan Beaber, Mountain, Wisconsin

Kennel Name: Flying K Kennel
Sponsors: Beaber Construction
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan
Lead Dog(s): Tulip and Peace
Number of Years Racing: 3
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I have been into sled dogs for 18 years but just got into racing with my kids 3 years ago.
Where have you raced? Copper dog, Tahquamenon, Bear Grease, Apostle Islands, and Midnight Run
Have a training or race experience to share? I have been dragged, run over, tangled and run into the woods after deer! It is just part of sled dogs.


5. Joann Fortier, Gaylord, Michigan

Kennel Name: Coyote Run Sled Dog Kennel
Sponsors: UpNorth Land Company
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Huskies
Lead Dog(s): Rocket, Tracer, Nelson and Loki
Number of Years Racing: 19
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? It’s something I’ve always wanted to do since I was little, watching Susan Butcher win the Iditarod in the 80’s. My parents bought me a Frank Hall sled so I could mess around with our house dogs. A few years later Jerry Papke gave me my first sled dog, Glacier. The rest is history. I’ve been obsessed ever since.
Where have you raced? Midnight Run over a dozen times, Copper Dog 150, Pellston, St. Ignace, Mackinaw, Beargrease 150, Tahquamenon, Ironline and many others throughout the years.
Have a training or race experience to share? Running through the 2015 blizzard in the Midnight Run right next to lake Superior definitely sticks out in my mind. 70+ mph winds were coming off the lake, blowing our entire teams off the trail. I couldn’t see anything. I was very thankful that Joanna Oberg and I ran that last 25 miles together. It was pretty epic out there that day. That memory definitely takes the cake.


6. Larry Fortier, Gaylord, Michigan

Kennel Name: Coyote Run Sled Dog Kennel
Sponsors: UpNorth Land Company
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Huskies
Lead Dog(s): Tuba, Stripe and Inde
Number of Years Racing: 14
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I got involved when Joann was pregnant with our daughter. I became hooked and the rest is history.
Where have you raced? Midnight Run multiple times, Copper Dog 150 every year except one where Joann raced it, Beargrease 150 a few times, Tahquamenon many times, Ironline and many others over the years.
Have a training or race experience to share? My most memorable racing memory was when I won the Midnight Run with the B team in 2016 and beat Joann’s A team. It was a great day for our kennel, finishing first and second. It also started a trend where the B team has beat the A team every year since. Joann is really going to have to race hard if she wants the crown back from me this year.