2020 UP200 Purse (revised 11-13-2019)
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 65 miles on the upbound leg.
The upbound checkpoint in Wetmore is at Timber Products. Teams will cross M-28 “on the clock” near Hiawatha Log Homes, with the State Police available to assist with traffic. After crossing M-28, teams proceed to the checkpoint at Timber Products. This is an assisted checkpoint, except for teams using the race as an Iditarod qualifier, and is also the location of a mandatory vet check for each team. Please note that spectators are not allowed inside the Wetmore checkpoint. Teams will leave the 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 48 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 rest, feed their teams, consult veterinarians as needed, 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 and again the assisted checkpoint is at Timber Products where handlers may help the teams. The trail from Timber Products to the finish in Marquette is just over 65 miles. Dogs may be dropped from the team at any of the checkpoints, released to the care of team handlers. The UP200 ends Sunday 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, along the trail, in Grand Marais and at the Marquette finish line! The race starts on Friday evening, February 14th, 2020 and is limited to 40 teams, so mushers are encouraged to register early.