The Midnight Run

2022 Midnight Run Mushers

1. Lynne Witte, Cheboygan, Michigan

Kennel Name: Iskristall Kennel
Sponsors: dogbooties.com
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan
Lead Dog(s): Cache Snow White
Number of Years Racing: 10
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? Thee Iditarod was part of my classroom curriculum and traveled in 2000 to resource teachers classroom lessons. From Skijoring my passion to train and race sled dogs has been great adventure for me.
Where have you raced? YukonQuest300, Beargrease MN, Copper Dog Calumet, Midnight Run, Tahquamenon
Have a training or race experience to share?  Running the Quest 300 from Whitehorse along the Yukon River remains an incredible memory of vastness with so many challenges running a young team of dogs.


2. Lauren Stukenborg, Granby, Colorado (sub for Steven Peterson)

Kennel Name: Snow Mountain Ranch
Sponsors: YMCA of the Rockies
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan husky
Lead Dog(s): Ruthie, Winston
Number of Years Racing: 21
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? A love for dogs and a love for the outdoors
Where have you raced? Race For The Gold-Black Hills, John Beargrease, White Oak Classic, Wolftrack Classic, Midnight Run, Copper Dog 150, Gunflint Mail Run.
Have a training or race experience to share?  Had a pack of coyotes running parallel to me in the woods.


3. Mike Bestgen, Clear Lake Township, Minnesota

Kennel Name: Fugarwe Kennels
Sponsors: Me/myself and I
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan
Lead Dog(s): Magnum and Glock
Number of Years Racing: 23
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? Love the dogs, outside wilderness and of course the great people of the UP!
Where have you raced? Midwest and Canada
Have a training or race experience to share? The last year the UP200 went south, was the most scared I have ever been on a race, no snow, all the trail markers fell.


4. Joanna Oberg, Grand Marais, Minnesota

Kennel Name: Run Silent Racing
Sponsors: Agimac River Outfitters
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky, Doug Swingley/Joee Redington/T & B Streeper
Lead Dog(s): Tamar, Nikita, Laska, Bandit
Number of Years Racing: 21?
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? Love animals and especially dogs, the outdoors, adventure, excitement, competition, dogsledding is just the most fun and interesting sport ever!!! Was hooked from my first ride!
Where have you raced? MN, MI, WI northwestern Ontario
Have a training or race experience to share? Have to say the 2015 Midnight Run will always be one of the most memorable runs coming back to the finish along the lake in that epic snow storm! Wind gusts up to 72 mph and whiteout conditions, teams (not mine) getting blown off the trail or getting off trail near the finish. It was pretty wild! Our handlers driving through that whiteout to get to the finish said it was like a white sheet, couldn’t hardly see a thing creeping along trying to keep track of the edge of the road! I just crouched behind my sled as the harder the wind blew the harder my team drove into it. It was exciting! We ended up passing two teams just before no mans land to finish in 2nd place:)


5. Joanne Fortier, Gaylord, Michigan

Kennel Name: Coyote Run Sled Dog Kennel
Sponsors: UpNorth Land Company
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Huskies
Lead Dog(s): Tara & Swift
Number of Years Racing: 22
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I have always loved dogs & had an interest in the sport since I was little. When I was old enough, I finally got some sled dogs and the addiction began & the rest is history.
Where have you raced? Copper Dog 150, Beargrease 120, Tahquamenon, Apostle Islands, Midnight Run and many other races over the past 22 years.
Have a training or race experience to share? One of my favorite memories is my magic carpet ride Midnight Run win in 2010. It was cold, an awesome, fast trail and my team was on fire. I was wishing Larry could see the team. I’ll never forget that race with George, Tefa, Fender, Jackson, Franklin, Gibson, Prophet and Curlin. They were some of the best dogs we ever had.


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): Rue & Pico
Number of Years Racing: 20
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? When my wife was pregnant with our daughter I had to race her team that year & I got hooked to the sport.
Where have you raced? Copper Dog 150, Midnight Run, Apostle Islands, Beargrease 120 & many other races over the last 20 years.
Have a training or race experience to share? One of my best racing memories is when I won Midnight Run in 2016 & beat Joann’s main team with our B Team of yearlings. It’s always great doing well with our young dogs.


7. Bucky Tippett, Grandview, Wisconsin

Kennel Name: Happy Howling Huskies
Sponsors: N/A
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Huskies
Lead Dog(s): Pete and Xander
Number of Years Racing: 3
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? A long time ago in my freshman Science class, my teacher had husky puppies for sale. It was all down hill from there.
Where have you raced? CopperDog, Jack Pine 30, Beargrease 40 and 120, Apostle Islands, Wolftrack Classic
Have a training or race experience to share? Not yet.


8. Christina Gibson, Carlton, Washington

Kennel Name: Whiteout Racing
Sponsors: Windigo Outfitters, Gearcor, IceBug USA, CeraSport, BeFast Sportgear, Head-Lites Per Products, Earth and Sky Studios, Product Research Gear
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Huskies
Lead Dog(s): Farce, Sike, Nellie, and Windshear
Number of Years Racing: 7
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? When I was four years old I watched the cartoon movie Balto, and decided I wanted to run the Iditarod! I bugged my mom about it for years until at the age of thirteen I was finally allowed to get my first dog.
Where have you raced? I’ve competed in the Pacific Northwest, Inland Northwest, Rocky Mountain States, and Alaska.
Have a training or race experience to share? During Jr. Iditarod, running into the morning from Yentna Station to EagleSong, the light hit the mountains just right to make them a soft pink, and the frost had collected on the trees with temps well below zero. It was so beautiful, that memory is seared into my mind forever


9. Erin Altemus, Grand Marais, Minnesota

Kennel Name: Sawtooth Racing
Sponsors: Ed Dallas
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Huskies
Lead Dog(s): Temper, Keith
Number of Years Racing: 10
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? We had a small rec team and went to a race with a friend. Did not take long to get hooked.
Where have you raced? Michigan, Minnesota, Maine, Wisconsin
Have a training or race experience to share? The first time I ran the Midnight Run, I ended up with a dog named Yeller in the sled bag for almost the entire run. At the end, I pulled him out and put him in lead, which made him look pretty impressive. He became a house dog not long thereafter and still is.


10. Matthew Schmidt, Grand Marais, Minnesota

Kennel Name: Sawtooth Racing
Sponsors: Ed Dallas
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Huskies
Lead Dog(s): Beezus and Nancy
Number of Years Racing: 10
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? We went to a race with a mushing friend. It was addictive.
Where have you raced? Minnesota, Maine and Michigan
Have a training or race experience to share?  One time while training, I had stopped for a several hour rest break with the dogs. When we took off again, it was a little chaotic, and just after taking off, my head lamp got lifted by a branch over the trail. I couldn’t grab it so I had to do the rest of the run in the dark.


11. Frank Holmberg, Newberry, Michigan

Kennel Name: Holmberg Racing Sleddogs
Sponsors: none
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Huskies
Lead Dog(s): Celeste, Cotton, Copper.
Number of Years Racing: maybe 20
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? Bartered dog care as part of rent while doing my internship.
Where have you raced? MI, MN, ON CA, ME.
Have a training or race experience to share? While running the Midnight Run (old trail) we encountered some deer on the trail around the gravel pit near Rapid River. Despite having run over 40 miles by that point the team outran the deer and forced them off the trail.


12. 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!


13. Wade Alice Canavan, Sterling Heights, Michigan

Kennel Name: Michigan Technological University Mushing Club
Sponsors: N/A
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Winchester and Jack Sparrow
Number of Years Racing: 1
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? Joined Michigan Tech’s mushing club in fall of 2020 and fell in love with the dogs
Where have you raced? Participated in Tahquamenon over a month ago
Have a training or race experience to share?
I don’t have that many cool stories yet. 🙂


14. Lucy Tyrrell, Bayfield, Wisconsin

Kennel Name: Raven’s Wing Kennel
Sponsors: none
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaska Huskies
Lead Dog(s): Enda Finnegan and Ziwa
Number of Years Racing: mushing for about 25 years
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? Took a sled dog cart ride on the north shore of Lake Superior, viewed sprint races, apprenticed with a musher, borrowed dogs to try it, then acquired my own team.
Where have you raced? In Alaska and Yukon: Yukon Quest 300, Two Rivers 200, Solstice Run 100, Hamburger Run (35 miles)
In Upper Midwest: Mid Minnestoa 1998, Midnight Run 1999, 2000, Great Trail Race 1999, Antigo 2000, Sled Dog Enduro 2000, Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, Jack Pine 2019, 2020, Copper Dog 25 2019, 2020
Have a training or race experience to share?  Running dogs at night under the northern lights is always a favorite!


15. 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
Unchanged: 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.
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.


16. Taylor Kunath, Alpena, Michigan

Kennel Name: Otter River Sled Dog Training Center and Wilderness Adventures
Sponsors: Mushing Club at Michigan Tech /Tom&Sally Bauer
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Marie and Heather
Number of Years Racing: 2
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? I got involved in sled dogs through the mush club at Michigan Tech through a hometown friend. I became really interested after seeing the passion Tom Bauer and other club members shared for the dogs. I was hooked after getting to run my own dog team after putting in many hours of work. My dog sledding experience, in general, has been an extremely rewarding experience between the bonds I’ve built with my dogs and the great friends I’ve made through the sport.
Where have you raced? Minnesota/Beargrease 40


17. Tom I. Bauer, Tapiola, Michigan

Kennel Name: Otter River Sled Dogs
Sponsors: Heikkinen Firewood sale
Major Breed or Bloodline: Alaskan Husky
Lead Dog(s): Triton, Herc, Scooby, Gary, Adam, Aeres, Balto, Snoopy
Number of Years Racing: 33
How or why did you get involved in Sled Dog Racing? Went on a camping trip with some folks from MN. They had Alaskan Husky racing dogs and I had a rec team of Siberian crosses. I decided I wanted to race and own some of those athletic beasts. they borrowed me 5 dogs and with the most athletic 4 of mine I entered and finished the first UP 200 in 1990. Thanks largely to the help and advise from the two vets , Tom and Dennis, I finished in 8th…and I was hooked
Where have you raced? Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ontario
Have a training or race experience to share?  My son Roy, 14years old, and I were training two teams for the Copperdog 150. He had our powerful, forward moving , A team and took a wrong turn on a stubb road then got dragged into the woods. In turning the team around to get back to the trail, he went down three times, losing his gloves and one of his boots. But he didn’t lose the team and made it back to the trail where I was waiting. I made a quickie Pseudo moccasin with my outer jacket, gave him my spare gloves and continued the remaining 7 miles in 10 degree temps to the kennel. By that time he had settled down and warmed up and we shared a”whew” and a little laugh.


WITHDRAWN:

1. Brian Bergen, Sioux Lookout, Ontario
2. Mark Patterson, Shirley Mills, Maine
3. Blair Braverman, Mountain, Wisconsin (moved to Jack Pine 30)
4. Quince Mountain, Mountain, Wisconsin (moved to Jack Pine 30)