John Stetson

Rivers' Cross Photography

What happened to Ryan Redington?  And will he pull a repeat of 2017/2018 when he ran the course, made corrections, and roared back to a championship the next year?

Are the Frekings (with a one-two finish in the marathon for Blake and Jennifer and a 3rd/6th finish in the Cub Run for daughters Nicole and Elena) on the brink of a mushing dynasty?

And who gets the credit for Jason Rice's third place finish?  His team?  His coach?  Or the Rookie of the Year himself?

Kyle Krohn. All rights reserved

UPDATE:  Blake Freking has won the 35th running of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon!

Lisa Johnson, 2019

The GPS trackers are back, Ryan Redington is in command of the race at this point (with Blake Freking in the number two position),  and veteran musher and race reporter John Stetson says it's a "dog race" between Frank Moe, Jason Rice and Jennifer Freking.

Lisa Johnson, 2018

Martha Schouweiler's winning streak came to an end this morning, when Ryan Anderson crossed the finish line of the Beargrease 120 less than ten minutes before she did.

©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.

Looking at Cathy de Moll's account of Will Steger's 1989 Trans-Antarctica Expedition on a bookstore shelf, you might be tempted to pick it up, reminded of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon coming up this weekend in Duluth.

You might know that longtime musher and sled dog trainer John Stetson (this year part of KUMD's Beargrease coverage) got his start training dogs for Steger back in 1986.