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Information about the
Beargrease Race

GPS Tracking

Track the mushers on the trail in real time! To see the tracking in full screen please click on the Fullscreen button below

Marathon

Beargrease 120

Race Timing Sheets

**Sheets will be live on Race Day.  Scroll all the way to the right side of the timing sheets to view complete information.

Race Start

Race Start Location: Billy’s Bar, 3502 W. Tischer Road, Duluth

Billy’s Opens at 7:00 a.m. with limited breakfast and lunch, plus an outdoor Bloody Mary Bar!  

Get your Beargrease merchandise, meet the mushers and watch the teams take off in full-force!

SHUTTLE: Bernick’s Shuttle Bus begins running at 7:00 a.m. and runs until 2:30 p.m.  Multiple shuttles will run approximately every 15 minutes to drop you off at the starting line at Billy’s.  Go to Parking Lot W at UMD – Click here for Lot W Map (lower left side of the page)

**Please wear your mask on the bus per the City of Duluth mask mandate.

8:00 am – Meet the Mushers – a Fan Favorite! Our mushers will be parked and waiting for you at East End Auto (right next to Billy’s). Take photo’s with your favorite musher or lead dog, get autographs and ask questions about racing.

12:30 p.m. is when we expect the last team to leave Billy’s.

2:30 p.m. – Last Shuttles for UMD leave Billy’s – roads will begin opening.
 
Get your Beargrease Merchandise on-site!! 
 
Limited Handicap Parking will be available on a first come, first serve basis.
 
Service dogs are welcome. However, for the safety of your pets and our canine athletes, NO pets are allowed at any start, finish or checkpoint during the Beargrease.
 
** Safety is our top priority. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled and stay alert when you are near the race chutes – these canines can each pull 350 pounds….put 12 of them together and not much can stop them.

Four classes make upThe Beargrease

The Beargrease Marathon – Start time: 10:00 a.m. 

This is THE race!  Mushers traverse through 300 miles of hills, hills and more hills. Stamina, grit and endurance is needed for both the human and the 12 canine athletes that make up each team.  Start: Billy’s Bar, Duluth, MN on January 30 and finishes on Tuesday, February 1 at Grand Portage Lodge & Casino, MN.  Marathon Teams leave the starting chute first and have cream-colored bibs on with sponsor logos. There’s a reason this race is a qualifier for the Iditarod. 12:30 pm on Sunday is when we expect the last Beargrease 40 team to leave Billy’s.

The Beargrease 120 Race – Start Time: 10:56 a.m. 

The Beargrease 120 is considered by many to be one of the most competitive mid-distance races in the lower 48.  The slate of mushers is equally as impressive as the marathon. Start: Duluth, MN January 30 and finishes on Monday, January 31 in Finland, MN at the historic Trestle Inn. 

Beargrease 120 Teams will be in red bibs.

The Beargrease 40 Race – Start time 12:00 p.m. 

This race is considered a “Recreational Class” race.  Our Beargrease mushers will tell you differently.  Many mushers cut their teeth on this race, train their yearling teams or simply to enjoy a day on the trail with their beloved athletes.  Start: Duluth, MN January 30 and ends January 30 in Two Harbors, MN. Beargrease 40 Teams will be in green bibs.

The Beargrease 120 Junior Class Race

This race is perfect for junior racers to get their feet-wet and run with the big dogs.  Experienced mushers are such important part of this mentorship experience. Teams that have cream-colored bibs in triple digits are our Junior Mushers!

Lake County Visitors Guide

 Come experience beautiful Lake County. We know you’ll love it!

Local eats and drinks unique to Minnesota’s North Shore

Sponsored Content

Bent-Paddle-Brewing
Local Minnesota beer at Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

Info here about Bent Paddle Brewing Co. and how they sponsor Beargrease and what it’s like to go have a beer at their brewery. Filler text here lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nulla cursus tristique aliquam.

More about Bent Paddle

trestle-inn
Enjoy local food at the unique and historic Trestle Inn

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More about Trestle Inn

billys
Hearty Meals for cold weather at Billy’s

Info here about Billy’s and how they sponsor Beargrease and what it’s like to go have a beer at their brewery. Filler text here lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nulla cursus tristique aliquam.

More about Billy’s

rustic-inn
Fresh, locally-sourced food at the Rustic Inn Cafe

Info here about Rustic Inn Cafe and how they sponsor Beargrease and what it’s like to go have a beer at their brewery. Filler text here lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nulla cursus tristique aliquam.

More about Rustic Inn Cafe

Meet the 2022 Beargrease Mushers

Meet the amazing people behind the dogs! We are proud to host Minnesota locals as well as mushers from around the world! Read musher bios from the Beargrease Marathon, Beargrease 140, Beargrease 120 Junior Class, and Beargrease 40 races!

Erin Letzring

2021 Champion

 

Ero Wallin

2021 Sportsmanship Award Winner

Jen Freking

Veterinarian and Siberian Husky expert.

wade marrs

2022 Rookie to Watch!

What to expect when you come see the Beargrease Marathon

Watching the Beargrease is not for the faint of heart. Neither is it for dress shoes, fancy clothes, makeup, or showers (we’re only half joking). Watching the race or volunteering involves spending hours outside in the harshest weather that Northern Minnesota can offer.

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Important events for the Beargrease

left to right map
beargrease map

Investing in the Next Generation

We believe that dogsledding is such a beautiful sport, and we are determined to pass that legacy on to the next generation, but we can’t do it alone.

Our “mushing kids” learn many valuable lessons from working with  a team, how to lead and how being active outdoors year-round is beneficial to a healthy mind and body.

Beargrease is a family-friendly event and provides opportunities for learning in an unconventional setting–in the great outdoors!

One of our favorite events is the Cub Run, typically held a week prior to the race.  Kids are invited to try mushing with a 2-dog team, going 1-3 miles in the sled.  

This is a great way for them to experience the joy of the sport firsthand. 

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many places to stay along the North Shore.  We typically post our sponsoring lodging locations as they become available.  Check out our Tourism Sections for information on the 3 distinct regions of our race. 

Our race is greatly impacted by Lake Superior, one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world. If it snows a few days before or during the race, it will slow the trail conditions down.  But if it rains? It’s possible the trail could be freaky-fast!

The Beargrease Marathon starts on Sunday and a winner is usually declared on Tuesday late afternoon or early evening in Grand Portage. 

The Beargrease 120 starts on Sunday and a winner crosses the finish line early Monday morning in Finland, MN.

The Beargrease  40 starts on Sunday and ends on Sunday in Two Harbors, MN. 

The race starts in Duluth, MN and travels through many northern Minnesota Communities.  The Marathon ends in Grand Portage, MN; the Beargrease 120 ends in Finland, MN; and the Beargrease 40 ends in Two Harbors, MN. 

YES! Our mushers and canine athletes love to meet their fans!  Two great times to get up close: Vet Checks (take place the Saturday prior to the start.) and early morning on Sunday as the teams are preparing for the race.  REMEMBER, always ask a musher if you can pet their canines, they are working dogs and might be in “race mode” and not feeling social.  (Yes — these dogs know the difference between a training run and race day!) 

Nope!! All of our race events are FREE, open to the public and family-friendly.  We rely on donations and sponsors to keep our race alive. 

Every volunteer shift is different.  Some shifts are a couple of hours indoor and some are 12 hours outdoors.  We try to make it as fun as possible and there are so many opportunities available–there is something for everyone!

ADA-trained Service Animals specifically trained to aid a person with a disability are always welcome!

Congratulations to our 2021 Marathon Winner: Erin Letzring

FINISH TIME: 32:43:35

In 2021, our marathon was a nail-biter!  It was neck and neck between Erin Letzring and Ryan Redington — both fierce competitors from Alaska. Erin’s team ended up edging out Ryan by a mere 10-seconds. 

One of the most epic parts of this sport?  It doesn’t matter if you are a male, female, young or old–everyone can compete.

Many of our younger athletes have been mentored by their parents and now compete on the same trail and in the same race. Mothers and sons, dads and daughters — it’s a beautiful thing!

The Beargrease is a family — complete with family potlucks of hotdish, laughter and a good craft beer.  

2020 Ryan Redington
2019 Blake FrekinG
2018 Ryan Redington

Please, No Pets Allowed

For the safety of all participants, athletes, and spectators, please remember that pets are not permitted at John Beargrease events.

Service Animals Welcome

ADA-trained Service Animals specifically trained to aid a person with a disability are always welcome!

Support the Beargrease

Thankfully You Don’t Have to Wait For a Dogsled to Get Your Mail These Days

Stay up-to-date with the latest Beargrease news; winter isn’t the only time we have fun!
Find out how to be involved in the Beargrease year-around.