Volunteers are a vital part of organizing and facilitating the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. In the past years, many interesting people from all over the nation have done their part to make the Beargrease a great experience. Some volunteers provide warmth and good cheer at the checkpoints with warm food and big bonﬁres. Others camp out at road crossings to assist teams safely across a variety of roads along the way. We have volunteers assisting the mushers to get their teams to the starting line, setting everything up, running headquarters, helping with banquets, and many other roles that make this North America’s Premier Sled Dog Race Series!
Nearly 500 volunteers are needed each year to ensure this event runs smoothly and safely. There are volunteer opportunities for everyone, from those who have experience with sled dog races to those who just LOVE dogs and community events! All areas of the race need volunteers, especially the starting area and various checkpoints
In the months leading up to the race, we frequently need help from trusted volunteers with a variety of skill sets. Needs range from media and PR, marketing, event organizing and planning, graphic design, and a wide range of tasks. Business and organizational skills are especially helpful.
If you have time, energy and a willingness to help out during the year please send an email to us at email@example.com.
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!
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.