John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon starts this weekend

Festivities of the 30th running of the John Beargrease Sled 
Dog Marathon, originally scheduled to begin Jan. 25, will take place 
beginning this weekend, Friday, March 8, and “run” through Thursday, 
March 14. The race was postponed due to the lack of snow earlier this 
winter. The race starts at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 10 at Jean Duluth and 
Riley Roads in Duluth. The Mid-Distance finish is scheduled for 
Monday, March 11 at the AmericInn in Tofte. Two days later, Wednesday, 
March 13, the Marathon Race finish will take place at Billy’s Bar on 
Tischer Road in Duluth. This year there will be a new race for 
juniors, the inaugural running of the "Little John" for mushers 
between the ages of 14 and 17. In addition, the John Beargrease Sled 
Dog Marathon board of directors has elected to guarantee a minimum of 
$15,400 for the 2013 purse. The current allocation is $9,000 for the 
Marathon and $6,400 for the Mid-Distance. Events begin March 8 with 
the annual Beargrease Gala and silent auction from 6 to 10 p.m. at 
Greysolon Plaza in Duluth. Opening ceremonies and the bib draw follow 
on March 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Depot in Duluth; activities there 
also include a pipe and drum ceremony. Awards banquets are scheduled 
for March 11 at Camp 61 in Beaver Bay (Mid-Distance), and March 14 at 
Black Bear Casino in Carlton (Marathon). The photographer’s show runs 
through March 25 at the Great Lakes Aquarium. At almost 400 miles, the 
Beargrease is the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 of the United 
States. Teams must rest at least 32 hours during the race, including 
two mandatory six-hour layovers, one six-hour layover on the up trip 
and one on the down trip. For more information and a complete schedule 
of events see www.beargrease.com or call (218) 722-7631.