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      Radio operators at UP 200

      All eyes were on the sled dogs during the UP 200, but behind the scenes, ears were closely monitoring the mushers.

      Hiawatha Amateur Radio (HAM) radio operators provide communication for the participants.

      Because cell phone coverage is marginal, various checkpoints are set along the trail to ensure the racers' safety.

      Saturday at the Holiday Inn, they demonstrated coordination process with radio operators to update the status of each racer.

      "There's some people that get their ham license just for the purpose of helping out during the UP 200 sled dog race. And the more volunteers we can get, the better," said Paul Racine, Vice President of Hiawatha Amateur Radio.

      According to HAM, the youngest local person with a license is seven years old, but there are also members over the age of 70 with licenses.