Beargrease 2016

Lisa Johnson

Chilly, 30 mile per hour winds swept across the fields as the first few teams arrived at the finish line early this morning. In recent past years, the finish was usually mid-morning.  This year, Nathan Schroeder crossed the line before 6 a.m. with a winning trail time of 33 hours, 1 minute, 58 seconds.  Jason Campeau followed about 45 minutes later, followed by Ryan Anderson in third place an hour after that.


©lisa johnson/Thorsburg Photography

Four-time winner of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, Jamie Nelson, has scratched.

Friends say Nelson felt her dogs were not as ready as she would like for a 400 mile race.

Meanwhile, volunteer-vet-tech-turned-musher Beckie Hacker took a bad spill yesterday.  Her dogs were fine but she hurt her shoulder.  After determining that she could still take care of them (she said she "didn't want to be the weakest link" of her team), she continues her first Beargrease marathon.

Photo courtesy Binner Rahn

Musher Martha Schouweiler has won the mid-distance race for the second year in a row.

Frank Moe took second and the third place finish was being hotly contested at air time this morning.

Meanwhile, Duluth's Ann Stead won the rec race.

Thanks to our intrepid Trail Reporter, Binner Rahn, for keeping us up to speed!

Photos courtesy Bayfield Chamber of Commerce

High prey drive, pulls like crazy the minute you leash them up and has a lot to say - usually at the top of their lungs.

Housepets from hell?  Hardly - they're the sled dogs who have found a new home through Jim's Team Sled Dog Rescue in Bayfield, WI.

Robin Eschner

California composer and artist Robin Eschner has spent over a year visiting Minnesota, composing a song cycle about the history and culture of sled dog mushing and northern Minnesota, and that magical place where they intersect: the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.

Photo courtesy Robin Eschner

Northern California composer Robin Eschner's admiration of musher Susan Butcher has led her to a McKnight grant to compose a song cycle inspired by the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.

©Pupparazzi-Companion Animal Photography

Julia Cross on mushing, being sworn in as a mail carrier, writing for The Sled Dogger magazine, borrowing dogs because her father is allergic ... and other typically 12 year old things!

©Pupparazzi-Companion Animal Photography

Musher Nathan Schroeder will try to defend his title as Beargrease champ next week, and after that he's off to Alaska to race in his first-ever Iditarod.

Photo courtesy Seavey's IdidaRide Sled Dog Tours

Dan Seavey, musher, author, historian and the guest speaker of the Beargrease Gala talks about racing in the first-ever Iditarod ... and what he'll do to win a $5 bet.

Ron Boshey
Lisa Johnson

The excitement and noise that is the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon stops for a few moments at the beginning of the race, to honor John Beargrease and all the beings present. The man who offers the ceremony is Ron Boshey, the great great grandson of John Beargrease.

Ann Stead
Lisa Johnson

If visions of your own sled dog team are dancing in your head, you might want to talk to an experienced musher first to find out what you're in for. We found one in Duluth's Ann Stead. (produced by Chris Harwood).

Comfort Dog
Lisa Johnson

Stephanie Love and Blake Cazier have provided a home - and some retirement fun for the dogs and the community - through a business they say encourages "people and animal powered exploration of the outdoors."

Pat Henderson is the senior winemaker at the winery in Sonoma Valley that Jack London founded - the winery that funded the adventures he turned into books like "Call of the Wild" and "White Fang."

Bill Olson
Lisa Johnson

First time musher Bill Olson talks about his five month journey from Beargrease fan to Beargrease musher, his training, his dogs and the way his life has changed.

Dr. Linda Grover is a professor of American Indian Studies at UMD, a member of the Bois Forte band of Ojibwe, and the guest curator of the St. Louis County Historical Society's "Ojibwe Faces and Stories" exhibit. She talks about the artist, Eastman Johnson, and his partnership with the Ojibwe communities he painted.