This year's U.P. 200 Sled Dog Championship will have an exciting new element: Live tracking of the mushers using GPS technology. Race fans will be able to follow the progress of their favorite musher in real time via SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger, tracking their progress along the 240 mile course from Marquette to Grand Marais and back. The mushers' locations will be displayed on an enhanced Google Map. Viewers can access the map via a link on the UPSDA home page at www.up200.org.
"Not only will fans be able to track the teams, it will make the race safer for the mushers," explains Kent Koehn, UP Sled Dog Association Board member. "If a musher needs assistance, we can see exactly where they are and can get there quickly."
Each musher will carry a small SPOT Messenger device, placed inside a dog bootie and pinned to the sled. This device will send location-based signals via the Globalstar satellite network enabling near real-time public viewing.
Fans can view current racer position and race course check-point updates provided by Trackleaders LLC, a leader in web-based tracking solutions specializing in integrating SPOT technology.
The tracking system will be used this year for the U.P. 200 with the potential to expand it to the Midnight Run next year. The GPS tracking is being made possible thanks to the sponsorship of Dr. Tim's Premium Pet Foods.