Mushers prep for the highly anticipated Beargrease race Sunday
BRULE, WI. (KBJR) - Mushers are preparing their dogs and sleds for the upcoming John Beargrease Marathon starting Sunday.
Ryan Redington is a former Beargrease champion who came in second place by just seven seconds last year.
“I’m very excited and I think it’s going to be a very good race,” said Redington.
Just a few weeks ago, Redington says a snowmobiler intentionally hit his team while out on a training run near Iron River, injuring a few of his dogs.
Despite that tragedy, Redington says his team is ready to go.
He said “It’s a bummer to miss out on a couple of key dogs that would have been in the team but they are on the road to recovery and in the healing process and hopefully they’ll be racing Beargrease next year. "
Redington is one of the most well-known of the 24 mushers traveling the 300 miles and finishing at the Grand Portage Lodge and Casino sometime Tuesday, but you also might notice a new face on the roster, too.
Wade Marrs has been competing in sled dog races his whole life including the Iditarod race in Alaska where he finished in the top 5 last year.
Redington has been training with him for this race and Marrs says this race will be a new challenge for him and his dogs.
“Training wise is quite a bit different. You know, we got a lot less miles on them and lot less camping trips and stuff like that, but just trying to keep the speed up a little higher,” explained Marrs.
Sled dogs usually thrive in the colder weather so even with the mild conditions forecasted for the race, both mushers are hoping to come out on top.
“I think there evenly matched with mine so I look for us to finish close together,” said Redington.
Spectators are welcome back to the course this year. Masks and social distancing are recommended for the race.
Teams will start taking off around 10 a.m. Sunday morning.
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