Beargrease mushers, leaders share stories of the 2023 race

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 2:40 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - The 39th running of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon has come to a close, and after a warm meal, a shower, and a good night’s sleep, mushing teams gathered Wednesday morning to share stories and celebrate Tuesday’s finish.

In the end, 14 of the 17 teams made it to the Grand Portage finish line, battling the frigid temps along the way, but for these winter enthusiasts, cold fingers and extra layers come with the territory.

“Ya know, it was cold, but we have seen colder temperatures in this race, and it just makes things a little tougher,” said Colleen Wallin of Two Harbors, who finished in 10th place.

Even for the teams that didn’t finish at the top of the pack, they say just crossing that finish line was an accomplishment in itself.

“I am really happy with my dog team this year. I think they really performed really well. I just feel really proud of them,” said Jesse Terry of Sioux Lookout, Ontario, who finished 6th overall.

Terry said he was incredibly happy with his finish and his handling team, who took home the vets’ award for the best-kept dog team.

“It’s just really special to see the joy and the passion that happens here and how that spreads to other people who are around it. It’s really contagious,” said Terry.

Now teams are headed back home to prepare for year 40 on the Beargrease trail.

The 2024 race is set for January 28th through the 30th.