Beargrease Reports

©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. 

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.  

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!

©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

©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.