A major course change for the UP 200 and Midnight Run sled dog races. Due to the lack of snow, the starting locations and times for each race have changed. According to Pat Torreano, President of the U.P. Sled Dog Association, the UP 200 will not start in downtown Marquette this year. Instead, the Friday night start is in Chatham. Mushers will leave Chatham at 8 p.m. and head for Wetmore. From Wetmore, the sled dog teams will travel to Grand Marais during the morning hours of Saturday. ??There??s no snow from Marquette to the Onota Township area," said Torreano. "That's some 17 miles of trail without substantial snow cover.?? Grand Marais is a checkpoint where dogs and mushers can rest. Mushers return to the trail and head back to Wetmore late Saturday. They then return to Grand Marais for a Sunday morning finish. Torreano says the changes won??t impact spectators much. She says sled dogs are still racing out of downtown Marquette with the Midnight Run teams. The Midnight Run, which traditionally started in Gwinn, this year will start in downtown Marquette. Mushers will actually have a ceremonial start in the downtown area. Following that, they'll trailer their sleds and dogs to Chatham for a 10 p.m. start. Mushers will finish Saturday in Munising as they have in the past.
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