Beargrease 2018

Where's the best art opening this week?  What shows are closing?  Are there any calls-for-entries anywhere?  Annie Dugan brings you a comprehensive look at Where's Art every Monday morning at 8:20am on Northland Morning.Where's the best art opening this week?  What shows are closing?  Are there any calls-for-entries anywhere?  Annie Dugan brings you a comprehensive look at Where's Art every Monday morning at 8:20am on Northland Morning.

©Jessica Phoenix/Rivers Cross Photography

In the end, it just came down to faster dogs.

Last year's Beargrease Marathon winner and three-time-champion (also the only person to ever win the marathon and the mid-distance race) missed his chance to tie Jamie Nelson and Nathan Schroeder's record of four marathon wins, crossing the finish line at Billy's this morning at 8:00am.

©Jessica Phoenix/Rivers Cross Photography

Pupparazzi / Lisa Johnson

Now 51 hours into the marathon, Ryan Redington has arrived at the Finland checkpoint.  At nearly the same minute, the next closest competitor, Denis Tremblay, was just leaving Sawbill for Finland. 

©Lisa Johnson

The GPS isn't telling the whole story when it comes to the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.  It's not just how fast you get to the finish line; it's how fast you get to the finish line WITH your 30 hours of mandated rest!

Read the article on race strategy  by Jason Rice here:

Flip through a slideshow of scenes from the race midpoint at Grand Portage here:

Pupparazzi / Lisa Johnson

Ryan Redington is repeating the strategy he used last year - starting off with a sprint to the front.  The question is: Can he keep up the pace?  Last year, this strategy unfortunately saw his team shrink in size to the point that he was passed approaching the final finish line.  KUMD's Chris Harwood talks with Beargease veteran John Stetson about Redington's possible plan of action, and the other five or so teams that are by no means left behind.  

©Kyle Krohn. Used with permission.

A very wise and wily mushing veteran once told me, “there’s a hundred different things that can happen when you’re mushing…and 99 of them are bad!”

Those were the words of John Stetson, the two-time Beargrease mid-distance champ responding to a question I asked as a reporter covering the race in 2001.  But those words would stick with me like glue as I learned the art and science of running sled dogs from Stetson a year later.

©Lisa Johnson

Over thirty years and 125,000 miles behind a sled later, when John Stetson talks about training dogs, he comes back, over and over again, to trust. How it can enable a person to control 14 fast-moving dogs with only a brake and their voice.  And how easy it is to lose.  

There are no prima donnas on John Stetson’s dog teams.  That goes for the dogs and the human mushers he trains.

"The Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is all about dogs," you say.  "So of course my dog is welcome, right?"

Beargrease organizers say please, leave your pet at home.

Two words: disease and dessert.

There are thousands of dollars and days invested in creating a competitive sled dog team, an investment that could be down the tubes if a sled dog picks up a bug from an unvaccinated or sick pet.

Kyle Krohn

This year, the annual Beargrease Photo Contest and exhibition has expanded and is on display in Duluth during the race.  This year the exhibition includes water colors, photos and more to come.  Each year the call goes out and the hardy sled dog marathon fans, artists, professional and amateur and photographers submit their best work.

Pages