Mushers, organizers look forward to changes in John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

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DULUTH, MN — The annual John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is just around the corner with some big changes ahead.

This year, mushers and dogs will be racing a shortened 300 mile course.

Organizers say the decision to move away from a 425 mile race was based on weather patterns in the area. Several mushers also believe it was too challenging to condition their dogs for such a long course.

Participants will hit every single North shore community on the way, starting in Duluth and ending in Grand Portage.

Another change: Beargrease is going from a 14-dog hitch to a 12-dog hitch, which also came highly from the requests of mushers.

Organizers say they’re excited to get things started.

“Once Christmas comes and New Years comes, it’s full force for us, and we’re so excited,” Monica Hendrickson said.”Our board, we plan year-round, we’re a volunteer-run organization, and you’re starting to feel the excitement. You’re starting to get excited when mushers are calling in and asking a lot of questions.”

The race will start at Billy’s Bar on January 27th and end at the Grand Portage Lodge and Casino on January 29th.

Gamiel Hall

Gamiel Hall

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