2008 Beargrease Marathon

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2008 Beargrease Marathon

Postby PaddlerJimmy » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:16 am

Conditions good for Beargrease, officials say
John Myers Duluth News Tribune
Published Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Plenty of snow and just enough cold should make for good conditions for spectators, mushers and dogs for the 2008 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon that starts Sunday in Duluth.

After being forced to cancel last year’s races because there was so little snow on the ground, race officials are happy that’s not an issue this year.

“I’ve personally inspected three-quarters of the trail on snowmobile and it’s in great shape. Just about perfect,’’ said Jason Rice, president of the Beargrease board of directors.

The marathon’s opening stretch in Duluth may see some bare spots at crossings but is fully snow covered. At the other end of the round-trip race, along the Gunflint Trail in Cook County, some areas have more than 36 inches of snow on the ground.

Rice said the marathon route on the North Shore State Snowmobile Trail and Express Snowmo-bile Trail is well packed. A recent warm spell followed by a week of sub-zero temperatures has made for a hard, slick trail.

“We’re set up for a very fast course if things don’t change too much by Sunday,’’ Rice said. “The only thing that would change that is a lot of snow. More than 3 inches of new snow on the trail would slow the race down.’’

That probably won’t happen. There’s a chance of light snow late Friday and again Tuesday “but nothing as of now that would pile up,’’ said Mike Bettwy, assistant forecaster at the National Weather Service office in Duluth.

Temperatures will warm out of the deep freeze below zero today to highs in the mid or even upper 20s above zero by the time the marathon starts at 1 p.m. Sunday, Bettwy said.

That’s a little warmer than the combined 75 mushers and 716 dogs competing in the marathon and mid-stance race might like. But officials say it’s perfect to attract a big crowd to Ordean Middle School for the starting ceremonies.



http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/articles/index.cfm?id=58685
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Jennifer Freking accident /withdrawal from 2008 Beargrease

Postby PaddlerJimmy » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:17 am

Crash, broken hand forces Finland musher to withdraw
Duluth News Tribune
Published Monday, January 28, 2008


Jennifer Freking, the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon’s 2005 rookie of the year, withdrew from this year’s race after suffering a broken hand in a crash early in the race.

She underwent surgery on the hand Sunday afternoon.

According to a posting on her and her husband’s — musher Blake Freking — Web site, Jen Freking crashed on an icy curve almost immediately after the start. She drove her team and damaged sled to the checkpoint at Billy’s Bar, where she turned her team over to friends and went to the emergency room for treatment.

Jen Freking finished second in the 2005 and third in the 2006 Beargrease.

http://tinyurl.com/359hls
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More than half of Beargrease mushers drop out of marathon

Postby PaddlerJimmy » Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:00 pm

More than half of Beargrease mushers drop out of marathon
Duluth News Tribune
Published Tuesday, January 29, 2008


TOFTE -- The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon has lost over half of its mushers through this morning.

Of the 27 mushers that left Ordean Middle School on Sunday afternoon, only 13 remain in the race. As of 10 a.m. today, 14 mushers have dropped out.

"Once we get to Trail Center, you'll have guys scratch," said John Stetson in a prediction Monday afternoon at the upward-bound Sawbill checkpoint. "It will be two, three, four, five -- between two and five. Either this is a training run for them, or [Trail Center] is as far as they were planning on going or they ran their dogs too fast."

The notable scratches include 2005 Beargrease winner Mark Black of Hovland, who dropped out with nine dogs at Trail Center, and Jennifer Freking of Finland, Minn., who broke her left hand leaving the start and scratched at the upward-bound Billy's Bar checkpoint with 12 dogs.

As of Monday afternoon at Sawbill, only Freking was out of the race.

The race leaders are resting at Sawbill, soon to head for Finland and include: Jason Barron of Lincoln, Mont., Nathan Schroeder of Chisholm, Tim Calhoun of Tomahawk, Wis., and Rita Wehseler of Tofte.

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/articles/?id=59176
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Postby bwca » Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:23 pm

12 of 27 teams finished the race. Jason Barron of Lincoln, Montana took first place.

John Stetson of Duluth came in second place at 35 minutes behind Barron (35:18:04).

Matt Carstens of Whitefield, N.H., finished third in 36:01:03; Ryan Anderson of Ray, Minn., was fourth in 36:38:18; Matt Rossi of Herbster, Wis., was fifth in 36:45:49.
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Postby bwca » Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:25 pm

Were you a spectator, musher, or volunteer at the race? Have photos? Submit them in the Winter photography contest:

http://bwcaboard.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=375
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