4 days. 17 teams. 319 miles. And one winner.
The 31st running of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon came to a close in the early morning hours of January 28, with Ryan Anderson taking home first place, arriving in Duluth at 2:53 a.m. Nathan Schroeder was a close second, arriving 28 minutes after Anderson.
Anderson and Schroeder are more than just competitors; they are old friends. For the past 5 years, either Anderson or Schroeder has won Beargrease. Schroeder won in 2010, 2013 and 2014; Anderson won in 2011 and this year. The 2011 race came down to mere seconds, with Anderson crossing the finish line just 20 seconds ahead of Schroeder. This year, the pair dueled until the last checkpoint, when Anderson was able to secure a lead on Schroeder, and ultimately take home the victory.
During the race, Schroeder put our Duluth Trading Manorak™ Anorak Jacket to the ultimate test by wearing it on the trail. Schroeder was most impressed with how warm the jacket was, and how comfortable it felt while pulling, reaching and bending on his sled. Schroeder also wore Three Dog Fleece Base Layers and Alaskan Hardgear™ Snowcat™ Pants on the trail.
Schroeder’s next stop is the Iditarod Great Sled Race in Alaska this March, where he and his Horses-N-Huskies team will travel more than 1,000 miles over the span of 9-15 days.
The Beargrease course this year was a challenging one; snowfall in the north and warm temperatures in the south meant variable terrain and temperatures throughout the race, and mushers had to adjust their strategy as a result. Duluth Women Model and musher Amanda Vogel completed 225 miles of the 319 mile course, making the difficult decision to scratch just shy of the Sawbill checkpoint.
We’re proud to sponsor Amanda Vogel and the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, and we wish all the teams a safe trip home and a well-deserved rest.