2019 UP200 Purse (revised 10-10-2018)
The UP200 is one of the top 12-dog mid-distance races in the Midwest, as well as being an Iditarod qualifier. The UP200 trail covers 238 miles of challenging terrain from Marquette to Grand Marais, Michigan and back again through forested land and near-wilderness. Mushers face hills, creek crossings, deep snow, and isolated trail. This is a true test of skill and stamina! The first leg of the trail is from Marquette to Wetmore, a distance of approximately 69 miles on the upbound leg, and 65 miles on the downbound leg.
The upbound timing gate at Wetmore is at Timber Products on M-28. The teams will cross M-28 “on the clock” with the State Police available to assist with traffic. Teams will proceed to the upbound checkpoint at Timber Products. This is an assisted checkpoint except for teams using the race as an Iditarod qualifier. Because teams will arrive after midnight, spectators will not be allowed inside the upbound Wetmore checkpoint. Teams will leave Timber Products checkpoint early Saturday morning on the trail to Grand Marais. From Timber Products, the trail winds through Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and continues on to Grand Marais, approximately 50 miles. The Grand Marais checkpoint is the midpoint of the race, and offers excellent viewing opportunities for spectators. The local Community Center is the checkpoint headquarters and visitors can have lunch, bid on items at a silent auction, and see the teams up close. Here the mushers will rest and feed their teams, be checked over by veterinarians, and plan their strategy for the second half of the race.
A total rest time of 16 hours is required, and the mushers decide how much rest time they will use at each checkpoint. A minimum 5-hour rest is required at the Wetmore checkpoint on the upbound leg to Grand Marais, but after that, it is up to the musher to decide when and where to take the remainder of the rest.
The return to Marquette is over the same trail. On the down-bound trail, Hiawatha Log Homes in Wetmore is the assisted checkpoint (a distance of 54 miles) and handlers may help the teams. The trail from Hiawatha Log Homes to the finish in Marquette is 65 miles. Dogs may be dropped from the team at any of the checkpoints. The UP200 ends on Sunday late morning or afternoon when mushers cross the finish line in Marquette. This race is a test of the musher’s skill in navigating and the team’s stamina and fitness. If you’re a musher, you won’t want to miss it, and if you’re a spectator, come join the thousands of people who gather to cheer the teams out of the starting gate in Marquette! The race starts on Friday evening, February 15th, 2019 and is limited to 40 teams, so mushers are encouraged to register early.