MARQUETTE, Mich.—The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center’s speaker series will present “Sled Dog Invasion: Town to Town with the UP 200 and Midnight Run” on Thursday, Feb. 2. The event begins at 7 p.m. in Mead Auditorium in the West Science Building at Northern Michigan University. It is free and open to the public.
Darlene Walch will be the speaker. Walch has been involved with the UP 200 and Midnight Run for more than 20 years and wrote a history of the races that is in the Library of Congress as part of the Local Legacies project. She will discuss the history of the UP 200 since the inaugural race in 1990 and share the perspectives of volunteers, organizers, spectators, racers, dogs and communities.
Walch owns Little Bear sled dog kennel. She is president of the Jack Pine Mushers and a past board member of the U.P. Sled Dog Association. She was a spectator for the first UP 200 and the next year became a volunteer. She has been mushing since 1995. Walch took fourth place in the Jack Pine 30 race from Gwinn to Marquette in 2005 and third in the 28-mile Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race in 2010. She has also run the Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race and completed the Midnight Run four times.