Established in 1980, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 states.
World class mushers including Susan Butcher, Jamie Nelson, John and Jason Baron have competed in the nearly 400 mile event – facing off against other seasoned competitors as well as the extremes of northern Minnesota weather and the deceivingly rugged terrain of the trail. The “Beargrease” is a qualifier for the famed Iditarod race in Alaska.
The organization hosts a Mid-Distance race as well; like the marathon mushers, the mid distance racers also travel through the rugged Sawtooth mountains of the North Shore of Minnesota.
All check points and road crossings are easily accessible to the public and provide many opportunities for photographers, winter camping or simply quality time around a campfire with good people, hot chocolate and the thrill of seeing the amazing canine athletes in action.
Close to 500 volunteers from around the country come together each winter to assure the event happens. The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is a 501 ©3 non-profit organization, overseen by a Board of Directors elected by the general membership.