Beargrease 2017

Lisa Johnson

Ryan Anderson and his team crossed the finish line at Billy's Tavern just after 10 this morning, becoming the 2017 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Champion!  The final time: 2 days, 23 hours, and 10 minutes. This is Anderson's 3rd win; he previously won in 2011 and 2015.  

Lisa Johnson

The mushers are sprinting toward the finish line of the 2017 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon this morning:  Ryan Anderson and ten dogs, Ryan Redington with six dogs and Matthew Schmidt also with ten.

Who is going to cross the finish line first?

We'll find out this morning around 10am!

©Lisa Johnson

Ryan Anderson left the Two Harbors checkpoint this morning just before 6:00am ... Ryan Redington followed 12 minutes later and Matthew Schmidt was hot on his heels four minutes after that.

Who will be the 2017 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon champion?

Find out at the Billy's finish line around 10am this morning!

Nace Hagemann Photography

The race is in the books, but you can still check out the annual Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon photo exhibit here in Duluth.

©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.

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. 

John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

It was a fast start for the John Beargrease Sled Dog marathon yesterday, and we have lots of winners to report already.

2017 JR Race Results

1.  Jasper Johnson, Duluth, MN

2. Julia Cross, Thunder Bay, ON

3.  Talia Martens, Brule, WI

4. Samuel Louters, Hollandale, MN

2017 Rec Race Results (top 5)

1. Jim Ward - Duluth, MN
2. Ann Stead - Duluth, MN
3. Linus Meyer - Melrose, MN
4. Darcy Stanley-Nord, - Milaca, MN
5. Morgan McClelland - Isabella, MN

And They're Off!

Jan 29, 2017
Kyle Krohn

Sled dog mushers and their dog teams have converged in Two Harbors this morning to start the longest sled dog race in the lower 48. Race information at beargrease.com

Here’s the thing about dogsleds for racing: aside from the runners and the lightweight design, they’re not so much about “go” as they are about “stop.”

And if you’ve ever seen sled dogs being harnessed up for a run, you know why. 

No wonder most mushers use a snub line to attach their rig to the dog truck or some other stationary object! 

Dogsleds

This is called a “track” or “drag mat.”  Chances are, you’ll see mushers standing on it as their teams explode from the starting line. 

Anyone who’s ever tried to pick their next best friend out of a stampede of big feet, slurping tongues, wiggly bodies and whipping tails knows that, when faced with a litter of puppies, the temptation is to just take them all home.

But when sled dog racers get a litter of puppies, it takes a while to know which puppies have what it takes to make a good sled dog.  So all they can do is hang out with the puppies … and wait.

Twin Citian Daniel Lancaster and his family fell under the spell of John Beargrease over ten years ago when they began traveling north on vacations.

Anxious to learn more about the man behind the legend, Lancaster says he ended up writing the book he wanted to find, but couldn't.