2017 Beargrease Trail Reports: TUESDAY: Can he keep up the pace?

Jan 31, 2017

Ryan Redington leaves the Grand Portage Lodge and Casino last night at 9:18pm. He was the first musher to begin the down-bound run.
Credit ©Jessica Phoenix

34 year old Ryan Redington is shaking things up.

People who know of his grandfather, Joe Redington, Sr., one of the founders of the Iditarod sled dog race in the '70s, probably expected no less.

With half of his team left and running short on mandatory rest, Redington's strategy seems to be blazing through each leg of the race (running between 9 and 12 mph) and trying to amass the greatest lead he can.

Sled dog at the Devil Track checkpoint
Credit ©Kyle Krohn

He left the Devil Track checkpoint this morning at 7:52am, followed by Colleen Wallin at 8:57am, Matthew Schmidt at 9:17am and Ryan Anderson at 9:33am. 

But as he leads the pack on the sprint to the Sawbill checkpoint and from there, the mandatory rest in Two Harbors, he's got rest time he has to take before he can leave for the final push to the finish line.

Sawbill checkpoint
Credit ©Kyle Krohn

Can he keep up the pace ahead of the pack?  Or will the followers - Wallin with 10 dogs, and Schmidt and Anderson, each with 12 - be able to leverage more rest and more power for a win?

As of 2pm on Tuesday, Ryan Redington still holds his lead, but it remains unclear if he will hold it. Even with a smaller team he is holding a competitive pace, as the other (larger) teams behind him have also been slowed by the new snow. Redington's team still has a larger amount of mandatory rest yet remaining, so the finish order tomorrow morning is far from certain.  Tune in tomorrow morning at 8 on Northland Morning for a complete update of the race as is transpires overnight.

Sometimes, you're too tired to stand up to eat. Dr. Joe Carson's dogs at the Trail Center checkpoint