Mushers race for time at 7th Annual UP200 Dryland Dash

The races were a 2.2-mile sprint and there was also a 1-mile junior race.
Published: Oct. 15, 2023 at 6:39 PM EDT
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NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - A UP200 tradition has made its return to Negaunee Township.

Mushers and their dog teams took off for the 7th Annual Dryland Dash. The event features races for wheeled rigs, scooters, bikes and canicross with one, two, four and six-dog teams. The races were a 2.2-mile sprint and there was also a 1-mile junior race.

Junior Racer Sawyer Wawiernia said racing on dryland differs greatly from snow.

“You get up better because it’s not as cold, so that’s a bonus,” Wawiernia said. “For me, it’s a little easier because you don’t go sliding around corners. With the snow races, you kind of just drift around them.”

Michigan Tech Student Renee Ruman participated in the canicross race. She was the recipient of a scholarship from the UP200 that paid for her entrance fee.

“I get this amazing opportunity and I don’t have to necessarily pay for it,” Ruman said. “It opens up more opportunities for me in the future to go to Dryland and put forth the money that I would have spent for this race, to other dryland races, or during the snow season.”

Dryland Dash Chairman Tim Trowbridge said there were more than 100 entries this year.

The teams competed for the best time. Saturday and Sunday’s times were totaled, and the winner received a $2,000 prize.

Trowbridge said he hopes the Dryland Dash encourages more people in the Upper Peninsula to get involved with sled dog racing.

“We have the UP200, but there are not a whole lot of local entries and I’m not sure why,” Trowbridge said. “We know it is part of the culture here and it is very important here.”

Trowbridge also said he would like to see the Dryland Dash continue to grow.