The Midnight Run

2018 Midnight Run Mushers

Welcome to the 2018 Current Midnight Run Mushers! Please take the opportunity to read their bios.

We are in the process of updating Musher Information. If you would like to update your information please send updates to Pam Forsberg.


1. Lynne Witte, McMillan, Michigan
Kennel Name: Nature’s Kennel
Sponsors: Dogbooties.com.
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Puddle/ Snow White
Number of Years Racing: 8
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? Started skijoring and moved to sleds.
Where have you raced? UP Michigan and Quest 300 in 2017
Have a training or race experience to share? (Humorous, scary, adventurous, great memory, etc.) Expect the unexpected.


2. Liza Dietzen, Wallace, Michigan
Kennel Name: Team Evergreen Kennel
Sponsors: Jean Kays Pasties and Subs, Centerline Machining and Grinding, Benish Consulting and Facilitation
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Sphinx, Rajala, Arion, Sapphire
Number of Years Racing: 8
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? When I was in kindergarten, my librarian read our class “Balto” and I said I was going to do that someday! She didn’t believe me, but that’s okay. We are 2/3rds qualified to go to Iditarod and hope to finish our last one up soon.
Where have you raced? UP, Wisconsin, Minnesota
Have a training or race experience to share?  We have a “sled beagle.” We adopted Sheldon our purebred beagle from UPAWS in 2014. He needed a job and frequently barked at my team while hooking up to leave. I got upset with him one day and decided that I was taking him with (hoping he wouldn’t like it and he would stop barking at us). Turns out he’s kind of a dud rabbit hunter but he makes a great sled dog!
Now, three years later, he trains with the team almost every time they go out, he’s done intervals of 20 miles with them before needing a break. The other day, I left him home because it was a little more humid for him and he’s developed some asthma that pops up in humidity. We left on our 5 mile run and he was upset we left without him. Derek went to let him in the house but didn’t realize the gate was open and Sheldon apparently went tearing down the trail after us. I was stopped on a break with the team when Derek called me. No sooner had I got off the phone and here came Sheldon huffing and puffing up behind us, passed the ATV, the wheel dogs, and into his empty spot next to Sampson and started barking waiting for us to go. Never underestimate the determination of a sled beagle 🙂


3. Joann Fortier, Gaylord, Michigan
Kennel Name: Coyote Run Sled Dog Kennel
Sponsors: UpNorth Land Company
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Huskies
Lead Dog(s): Poppy and Loki
Number of Years Racing: 18
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I got involved in the sport because I have always loved dogs and it seemed like a fun way to spend time with them.
Where have you raced? I have raced the Midnight Run over a dozen times, Copper Dog 150, Ironline, Beargrease 150, Tahquamenon and many other races over the years.
Have a training or race experience to share?  The last 2 years Larry has beat my team with the B team. This year, I am definitely going to beat him!!!


4. 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, Tracer and Pansy
Number of Years Racing: 15
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I got involved in the sport when Joann became pregnant with our daughter Ana. I was then hooked and our kennel size doubled soon after.
Where have you raced? the Midnight Run several times, The Copper Dog 150, Ironline, Beargrease 150, Tahquamenon and many others over the past 15 years.
Have a training or race experience to share?  I am going to make sure Joann gives me her good passing leaders again so she can’t get by me at the end of the race and I will beat her for the 3rd year in a row.


5. Brian Bergen, Sioux Lookout, Ontario
Kennel Name: Gone to the Dogs
Sponsors: First Mate Pet Foods, Home Hardware , Days Inn. Sioux Lookout, Cory Henderson Contracting
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan husky
Lead Dog(s): Oric, area, Glader, Eragon
Number of Years Racing: 5 in mid
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? Someone moved to Sioux Lookout and introduced us to Dog sledding.
Where have you raced? Mail run, Beargrease, midnight run, Wolf track classic , Voyager classic
Have a training or race experience to share?  Can’t really think of one


6. Bino Fowler, Bend, Oregon
Kennel Name: beatfeet sleddogs
Sponsors: nope
Major Breed or Bloodline: oregon mountain dogs
Lead Dog(s): wattie, doc
Number of Years Racing: 19
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? worked fish in anchorage couple summers … met the wrong people
Where have you raced? i’ve been everywhere, man
Have a training or race experience to share?nope


7. Richie Camden, Hillsboro, Missouri
Kennel Name: Breakaway Siberians
Sponsors: Diamond Naturals, Alpine Outfitters
Major Breed or Bloodline: Siberian Husky
Lead Dog(s): Marleau and Kaiya
Number of Years Racing: 6
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? My first husky, Koivu, loved to run. His passion and never quit attitude turned me into a musher.
Where have you raced? Michigan – Midnight Run, Jack Pine, Ironline
Wisconsin – Apostle Islands
Minnesota – Sled Dog Loppet, Mush for a Cure
Montana – Rodeo Run

Have a training or race experience to share? When we first started our team I was somehow able to convince my girlfriend to help me train our team on rollerblades. Even more impressive, we both survived and I was able to convince her to marry me.


8. Steven Madsen, Cougar, Washington
Kennel Name: N/A
Sponsors: N/A
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Huskies
Lead Dog(s): Def Leppard/Scandal
Number of Years Racing: 21
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? Bought a dog from the wrong guy.
Where have you raced? Iditarod (x3)
Race to the Sky (x8)
Atta Boy 300 (x4)
Oregon Dunes (x4)
Northwest Challenge (x3)
Cascade Quest (x3)
Wyoming Stage Stop

Have a training or race experience to share? My best mushing memory was driving 15 dogs under the arch in Nome my rookie Iditarod in 2004 with my wife waiting there to surprise me


9. David Gordon, Duluth, Minnesota
Kennel Name: Maple Ridge Kennel
Sponsors: none
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Ace/Chewie/Fergie
Number of Years Racing: 15-20
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I have enjoyed training and camping as well as racing dogs for 35 years now. The lifestyle is challenging but very gratifying. I am always grateful and humbled to work with these marvelous animals.
Where have you raced? Around the Midwest
Have a training or race experience to share? No


10. Alex Laplante, Esko, Minnesota
Kennel Name: Maple Ridge Kennel
Sponsors: none
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Monax / Letti
Number of Years Racing: 8
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? to follow
Where have you raced? Around the midwest
Have a training or race experience to share? to follow


11. Jim Ward, Duluth, Minnesota
Kennel Name: Maple Ridge Kennel
Sponsors: None
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Goose, Zoie
Number of Years Racing: 2
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? to follow
Where have you raced? to follow
Have a training or race experience to share? to follow


12. Frank Moe, Grand Marais, Minnesota
Kennel Name: Moetown Kennels
Sponsors: NutriSource Performance Dog Food
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Wolf, Iris, Cinder, Britt
Number of Years Racing: 13
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? 13 years ago I entered my 6 dog rec team in the Mid-Minnesota just for fun. We placed 5th out of 30 teams and I was hooked.
Where have you raced? Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Wyoming and of course Michigan. This will be our 7th UP 200. Our leader Wolf has led every one of them.
Have a training or race experience to share? Some of my toughest and most beautiful mushing memories have been at the UP 200. Nothing compares to the night start in Downtown Marquette followed by all the bonfires along the trail.


13. Ryan Beaber, Mountain, Wisconsin
Kennel Name: Ryan Beaber
Sponsors: Beaber Construction of Lakewood WI
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Ginger and Bucky
Number of Years Racing: 2
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I got involved with a sprint musher in my area 17 years ago just running his dogs recreationally. We had 15 dogs then but never raced. Two years ago my kids started racing some of Mountain Dogs Racing’s dogs and now we are back into dogs and racing.
Where have you raced? MidnightRrun, TCSDR, Copper Dog 80, Beargrease mid-distance this year.
Have a training or race experience to share? Me and my daughter Kelsey were out training and our dogs ended up turning onto a highway in northern WI last year on a road crossing.  I tried laying the sled down to stop the dogs, but when Kelsey’s team passed me there was no holding them back.  I was trying to get back on the sled and I finally ended up falling off.  When the team and the dogs caught up to Kelsey, she jumped off her sled and ran towards mine and with her sled and 6 dogs in one hand.  She jumped and barely caught the handle of my sled and 8 dogs, and held onto both teams face down on the blacktop until the two teams came together and stopped. Thank god for 11-year-old girls saving their dad’s butt!  It’s so amazing watching my daughter become a responsible teenager raising and racing these incredible dogs.


14. Kelsey Beaber, Mountain, Wisconsin
Kennel Name: Flying K Kennel
Sponsors: Beaber Construction
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan
Lead Dog(s): Tulip and Calamity
Number of Years Racing: 2
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? My friends from Mountain Dog Racing let me race their dogs 2 years ago. My first race was Apostle Islands race 2 years ago in the kids race and last year I did all adult races.
Where have you raced? TCSDR, Apostle islands, Jack Pine 30, Copper Dog 80
Have a training or race experience to share? We were training and we hadn’t fully examined the trails and we had came across a road. And my dad’s dogs turned on the highway. My dogs came right after and passed his. He was dragging on his side and lost his dogs. I was reaching for the gang line when it was coming past me but I couldn’t get it. Then I grabbed the handle bar and ended up getting dragged 16 dogs down a highway. They finally tangled themselves up and stopped.


15. Joanna Oberg, Ignace, Ontario
Kennel Name: Run Silent Racing
Sponsors: Agimac River Outfitters
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky pointer crosses
Lead Dog(s): Vader, Viva, Tamar, Tris, Nikita
Number of Years Racing: 20 with youth races and during our dogsled tour years but competitively around 10
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? LOVE animals and the outdoors, enjoy competition, adventure, love the companionship with the dogs, wonderful friendships with other racers, exhilarating sport 🙂 One ride and I was hooked for life!
Where have you raced? MN, MI, WI, Ontario
Have a training or race experience to share? Years ago had a funny moment when my team saw a moose standing in the brush a short ways off the trail. We were traveling downhill with a sharp left coming up when my leaders both looked to the right, distracted by the moose, and ran straight ahead off the trail disappearing into the deep snow for a moment before popping back out and continuing on:)


16. Gavin Baker, Almonte, Ontario
Kennel Name: Trail Dancer Kennels
Sponsors: Aurora Booties
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Huskies
Lead Dog(s): Bellagio, Danger, Mirage
Number of Years Racing: 23 years
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? 2 huskies ….1 sled….many years ago
Where have you raced? Can Am 250,100,60
Beargrease Marathon
Eagle Lake, Maine, 100mile
Kearney 120mile
St.Pamphile Quebec, 120 mile
Mahoosuc ,NH,100 mile

Have a training or race experience to share?not at this time


17. Kris Sampson, South River, Ontario
Kennel Name: Sampson Sled Dogs
Sponsors: n/a
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Boston, Jax
Number of Years Racing: 10
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? Got introduced to sled dogs working as a guide.
Where have you raced? Kearney, Iron Line, Eagle Lake, Can-Am, Copper Dog, Midnight Run
Have a training or race experience to share? One of my most memorable runs was the 2015 Midnight Run, returning into Marquette alongside Lake Superior and having to really trust my leaders because the snow storm was so strong that I could only see my wheel dogs. These dog are just amazing.


18. Brady McConkey, Wellington, Ontario
Kennel Name: Brady’s Bunch
Sponsors: Mom and Dad, Rusty Perkins, Gilmour’s Meats, Kim and Jason Reid, Bill and Debbie Crozier
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskans
Lead Dog(s): Laney, Buffy
Number of Years Racing: 9 years
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? 9 years old
Where have you raced? Kearney, Quebec, Haliburton, Marmora
Have a training or race experience to share?  Nothing to share with regards to stories.


19. Quince Mountain, Mountain, Wisconsin
Kennel Name: BraverMountain Mushing
Sponsors: UpNorth Processing, Morgan Taxidermy, our wonderful sponsors on Patreon
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Pepe
Number of Years Racing: 3
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I married into it!
Where have you raced? I’ve raced Apostle Islands, Tahquamenon, and the Beargrease mid-distance.
Have a training or race experience to share?  It’s all great memories.


20. Blair Braverman, Mountain, Wisconsin
Kennel Name: BraverMountain Mushing
Sponsors: UpNorth Processing, Morgan Taxidermy, our wonderful sponsors on Patreon
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan husky
Lead Dog(s): Jenga
Number of Years Racing: 4
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I got into sled dogs as a teenager when I went to a Norwegian folk school. Four years ago, my now-husband and I got our first sled dogs (of our own) from Ryan Redington and were officially hooked.
Where have you raced? UP200, Beargrease, Apostle Islands, Tahquamenon, IronLine
Have a training or race experience to share?  I’ll be headed to the Canadian Challenge in just a few days, so hopefully that will go well! I’m sure we have lots of adventures coming up. 🙂


21. Michelle Redstone, Warren, Ontario
Kennel Name: Broken Trail
Sponsors: N/A
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan
Lead Dog(s): Jake & Toes
Number of Years Racing: 10+
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? Born into it
Where have you raced? Kearney
Haliburton
Vaughan
Verner
Michigan
Cannington

Have a training or race experience to share? Hooking an 18 dog string to the front of an OPP cruiser…never forget that one…


22. Leanne Bergen, Sioux Lookout, Ontario
Kennel Name: Gone to the Dogs
Sponsors: First Mate Pet Foods, Home Hardware, Cory Henderson Contracting, Days Inn
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan husky
Lead Dog(s): Sprocket, Sadie, Rolo
Number of Years Racing: 5 years in mid distance circuit
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? My parents got dogs the year I was born so, I grew up loving the sport.
Where have you raced? Gunflint Mail Run. Beargrease mid distance. Midnight Run. UP200. Wolf Track Classic.
Have a training or race experience to share? Every time out with the dogs is an adventure. You never know what you’re going to run into while on the trail. Just the other night on a training run it was snowing really hard. All of a sudden the dogs took off like rockets barking their heads off. There was fresh moose tracks everywhere. I didn’t see the moose, but if it was during the day, or if it wasn’t snowing so hard I’m sure I would have seen it.


WITHDRAWN:
Andrea De Boer
Erin Becker (moved to Jack Pine 30)
Jerry Papke