MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The 90 mile Midnight Run race draws some of the finest eight dog teams in the region, and one of those teams this year will be led by a 12 year old.
Kelsey Beaber, from Mountain, Wisconsin who is gearing up her dog team for her biggest race to date.
“I’ve never done an overnight camping type thing so so it’s super exciting to get that experience," said Beaber.
Beaber may not be able to drive a car yet, but she's leading her eight dog a team from Marquette to Chatham and back. Beaber's participation in this year’s Midnight Run, makes her one of the youngest to ever embark on this fast race.
"This is a really big challenge for a person like this to get out here and doing this length of race, but I’m sure she will do just great," said Darlene Walch, the President of the U.P. Sled Dog Association. "She’s very dedicated and very good at this."
"It’s actually an honor to be able to be the youngest and have that experience because a lot of 12-year-olds are sitting at home watching TV with video games and I’m out here with the dogs," said Beaber.
Both Kelsey and her father will be racing in Friday’s Midnight Run. Although he’s starting six places ahead of her, Kelsey has a plan to finish first.
"But I’m going to try to catch him, pass him, and then I’m going to try to get a really high place," said Beaber.
And her father couldn't be more proud.
"She’s amazing," said Ryan Beaber, "Kelsey’s been just a trooper, she’s really into it. She doesn’t act like a 12-year-old, she acts like a 15-year-old, so it’s pretty easy with her."
As Kelsey makes history Friday night, she hopes to be an inspiration to all young people to pick up dog racing or any winter sport.
"Go out enjoy the snow, get out into the cold," said Beaber.
Beaber plans to race in the Midnight Run next year and in the UP200 when she is 14 with dreams to eventually run in the Iditarod.
"Just to do bigger races when I’m young, it’s going to be pretty cool.