Environment & Outdoors

©NOAA

A lot of folks still remember where they were on the February 2 in 1996 when Tower hit a record -60 below zero and Duluth recorded -39.

But do you remember where you were a week later when the temp jumped 84 degrees?

©Jessica Phoenix/Rivers Cross Photography

In the end, it just came down to faster dogs.

Last year's Beargrease Marathon winner and three-time-champion (also the only person to ever win the marathon and the mid-distance race) missed his chance to tie Jamie Nelson and Nathan Schroeder's record of four marathon wins, crossing the finish line at Billy's this morning at 8:00am.

©Jessica Phoenix/Rivers Cross Photography

Pupparazzi / Lisa Johnson

Now 51 hours into the marathon, Ryan Redington has arrived at the Finland checkpoint.  At nearly the same minute, the next closest competitor, Denis Tremblay, was just leaving Sawbill for Finland. 

Today on The Sea Grant Files, Minnesota Sea Grant Director, Dr. John Downing, joins us to share the importance of Federal Sea Grant funding, coastal science, and other areas of water research that affect our community. Hurrican preparedness, food fish aquaculture, and other areas of study that affect millions of people are all under the umbrella of Sea Grant.

©Lisa Johnson

The GPS isn't telling the whole story when it comes to the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.  It's not just how fast you get to the finish line; it's how fast you get to the finish line WITH your 30 hours of mandated rest!

Read the article on race strategy  by Jason Rice here:

Flip through a slideshow of scenes from the race midpoint at Grand Portage here:

Pupparazzi / Lisa Johnson

Ryan Redington is repeating the strategy he used last year - starting off with a sprint to the front.  The question is: Can he keep up the pace?  Last year, this strategy unfortunately saw his team shrink in size to the point that he was passed approaching the final finish line.  KUMD's Chris Harwood talks with Beargease veteran John Stetson about Redington's possible plan of action, and the other five or so teams that are by no means left behind.  

©Kyle Krohn. Used with permission.

A very wise and wily mushing veteran once told me, “there’s a hundred different things that can happen when you’re mushing…and 99 of them are bad!”

Those were the words of John Stetson, the two-time Beargrease mid-distance champ responding to a question I asked as a reporter covering the race in 2001.  But those words would stick with me like glue as I learned the art and science of running sled dogs from Stetson a year later.

©Lisa Johnson

Over thirty years and 125,000 miles behind a sled later, when John Stetson talks about training dogs, he comes back, over and over again, to trust. How it can enable a person to control 14 fast-moving dogs with only a brake and their voice.  And how easy it is to lose.  

There are no prima donnas on John Stetson’s dog teams.  That goes for the dogs and the human mushers he trains.

"The Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is all about dogs," you say.  "So of course my dog is welcome, right?"

Beargrease organizers say please, leave your pet at home.

Two words: disease and dessert.

There are thousands of dollars and days invested in creating a competitive sled dog team, an investment that could be down the tubes if a sled dog picks up a bug from an unvaccinated or sick pet.

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