DULUTH – The Beargrease excitement is building a week early this year, with three big events this coming Saturday and Sunday, January 23 and 24, 2016. Our youngest competitors will hop on their sleds powered by their four-legged friends for a fun morning of friendly mushing competition Saturday morning, just north of Duluth. The Svercl farm, located at 5559 Taft Road, Duluth is where the young mushers will run at 10:30am. This is always a cute event and the smiles on the faces of these kids will warm the heart!
At high noon, the showdown begins for the Beargrease Cutest Puppy Contest! As always, Fitger’s Brewery Complex is the host to this incredibly popular event. There are certain qualifications and requirements to enter your pup, so check the rules at www.beargrease.com and get on down to Fitger’s, Saturday 12pm! This is the 2nd most photographed Beargrease event, eclipsed only by the race start itself.
And the best of the Beargrease shutterbugs is on display at the Great Lakes Aquarium, Sunday, January 24th, 1pm – 4pm. Meet the folks who bring us the fantastic photos of the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, and get some pointers on where to go and what to shoot! You might just be inspired to get out on the trail and snap your own award-winning images! We’ll tell you how you can enter the Beargrease Photo Contest, right there at the Great Lakes Aquarium!
“We really feel that by moving some of our events to the weekend before the race, we’re giving much more ample time to take it all in,” said Beargrease board president Jean Vincent. “This just helps each event have its own identity and makes the race weekend schedule a little more manageable for everyone.”
Established in 1980, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 states. World class mushers including Susan Butcher, Jamie Nelson, John and Jason Baron have competed in the nearly 400 mile event – facing off against other seasoned competitors as well as the extremes of northern Minnesota weather and the deceivingly rugged terrain of the trail. The “Beargrease” is a qualifier for the famed Iditarod race in Alaska.
The organization hosts a Mid-Distance race as well; like the marathon mushers, the mid distance racers also travel through the rugged Sawtooth mountains of the North Shore of Minnesota.
All check points and road crossings are easily accessible to the public and provide many opportunities for photographers, winter camping or simply quality time around a campfire with good people, hot chocolate and the thrill of seeing the amazing canine athletes in action.