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Mushers make final preparations for Beargrease

Jan 23, 2022 06:01AM ● By Editor
Photos: Fox 21

By Natalie Noury from Fox 21 News - January 21, 2022

With under 10 days to go till the 42nd annual Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, teams are wrapping up preparations to hit the 300-mile stretch.

The Wallin family has gathered some fame over the years, just last year their son, Ero, was the youngest full marathon musher on record at just 18 years old.

Now Ero and his mother are excited to get back out there again, this time with fans.


Colleen and Ward Wallin of Two Harbors have been breeding and training sled dogs for almost 30 years, the Beargrease Marathon is what started this passion.

They have done anywhere from 50 to 80 mile days with their teams, but are now taking what they call “fun runs” to keep the dogs in shape for the big day.

“During the Beargrease when you’re running the lakes, you see the cliffs, and the bluffs, and the hills and the rocks, and trees growing out of rocks, I mean it’s really pretty cool, it kind of drops you to your knees in wonder just looking at what we have up here,” Colleen Wallin, Beargrease Musher with Silver Creek Sled Dogs, said.


And for husband Ward Wallin, aside from being able to share this passion with his family, the bonds that are created and shared between musher and dog is his favorite part.

“It’s what the dogs give you back, people say, well they’re just a dog, but they communicate in different ways and the connection you have with the dog is amazing, you can have a bad day at work or anything, and we get home, we hook up a dog team and they’re so willing to please, it’s just amazing, what they want to do for you is just incredible,” Ward Wallin, Kennel Manager of Silver Creek Sled Dogs said.


Once again this year Colleen will run a puppy team, while Ero she says will run the varsity squad.

They say all that’s left is making sure they’re packed, the dogs are good to go, and getting in the marathon mindset.

A reminder the race is next Sunday the 30th, with fans allowed once again, at Billy’s Bar in Duluth at 10 am.

To watch the video version of this story and read related reporting, follow this link to the Fox 21 News website.

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