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      Spectators gather for UP200 start

      After hours of preparation, dogs are so pumped they can barely wait to take off. The crowds just as excited.

      Some spectators travel from across the country to see this one-of-a-kind sled dog race.

      "We love it. It's so exciting when they do the count down and we see how the dogs are so happy to be out there," said Mary Walby, spectator.

      The announcers and the crowd counted each team. Teams took off at two minute intervals.

      "Natural anxiety doing this, of course, being a first time running the UP200. Other than that, it's just play it by ear out there because you can't really plan for every little contingency out there. So, it's more of preparation ahead of time," said James Riebel, musher.

      The thirteen teams running in the UP200 will be traveling a total of 240 miles. Their first layover happens in Wetmore.

      Some mushers are mostly concerned with the first leg of the race.

      "You know after a while it's kind of like riding a bike. You know the big thing here is just get out of town. There's a couple tricky turns and with all the people; once you get out of town two to three miles, then you're just kind of focused on running your dog team and having fun," said Ward Wallin, musher.

      Parking lots were full of volunteers getting teams ready to go, and it's the first time the Midnight Run race starts and will finish in Marquette.

      This year 29 teams are competing in the 90-mile race.

      "I love seeing the dogs and it's just fun and everything going on is just fun. It's fun to be a part of it. I can't wait to tell my kids because they will be jealous," said Kim Nordin, spectator.

      Midnight Run mushers are expected to be back in Marquette Saturday morning.