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Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon comes to a close

Dogs taking off at the start of the Beargrease Marathon, photo by Barbara Jean Johnson
Dogs taking off at the start of the Beargrease Marathon, photo by Barbara Jean Johnson

The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon came to a close last night as Tom Bauer and his eight dogs crossed the finish line in Duluth a few minutes before midnight on Wednesday. Bauer of Taipola, Michigan was the 10th and final finisher in the 373-mile marathon race in which the top two finishers came in within 20 seconds of each other Wednesday morning.

Minnesota musher Ryan Anderson and his team of 11 dogs won the race Wednesday morning finishing just ahead of defending champ Nathan Schroeder of Chisholm. Anderson’s time was 39 hours and 51 minutes compared with Schroeder’s 39 hours and 53 minutes.

Local musher, Odin Jorgenson of Colvill, was the only Cook County musher to finish the race. Jorgenson and his seven dogs came across the line at 3:44 p.m. on Wednesday taking fifth place. Jorgenson spent 45 hours and 58 minutes on the trail, averaging just over eight miles per hour.

Grand Marais musher Matt Groth and his team of five dogs scratched yesterday at the Finland rest stop after a long haul from the Sawbill checkpoint. Frank Moe of Hovland and his team dropped out of the race Monday night at the Trail Center checkpoint on the Gunflint Trail.

Colleen Wallen, of Two Harbors, finished in fourth place on Wednesday. Wallen spent 45 hours and 29 minutes on the trail.

Third place was taken by Jamie Nelson of Togo, MN. Nelson has one the Beargrease four times over the years. She fished at 11:42 a.m. Wednesday morning spending 42 hours and 2 minutes on the trail.

Peter McClelland of Ely, MN finished sixth followed by Curt Perano of Queensland, New Zealand in seventh place, and eighth place finisher Rick Larson of Sand Coulee, Montana.