Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

Beargrease (John) Sled Dog Marathon

First week in February
This annual dog-sledding festival commemorates John Beargrease (1861-1911), the son of a Chippewa chief who was known for delivering mail by sled dog along the North Shore of Minnesota from 1887 to 1900. Beargrease was often the only connection to the outside world for people living in this remote area in the latter part of the 19th century. For his skill in negotiating the shifting ice on Lake Superior, he was known as the "renowned pilot of Lake Superior."
The festivities begin with a mushers banquet the evening before preparations begin for the big race. The next day veterinarians make sure each dog is marathon-ready, then a cutest puppy contest rounds out the afternoon. On Race Day, opening ceremonies pay respects to John Beargrease before the mushers take off. The Marathon itself is divided into two divisions: Mid-Distance racers follow a 150-mile course, while Marathon mushers cover about 420 miles.
CONTACTS:
John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon
P.O. Box 500
Duluth, MN 55801
218-722-7631; fax: 218-625-5302
www.beargrease.com