Tuesday Update: Beargrease is Redington's to Win

Baihly Warfield
Updated: January 30, 2018 10:46 PM

The Beargrease is Ryan Redington’s race to win.

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He maintained the fast pace set early Monday and beat most of the snowfall to Finland Tuesday afternoon. 

“I’ve been really, really happy with how things are going,” Redington said at the Finland checkpoint. 

He looked it as he left just before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday when he headed out to Two Harbors for the mandatory four hours of rest, plus another 13 minutes to get him to the total 30 necessary hours of rest. 

Getting ahead of the weather was part of the Alaska musher’s strategy. 

“(The team was) really feeling good, so I decided to try to beat some of the snow, and it looks like it’s paying off right now,” Redington said. 

It’s Redington’s second attempt at the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, and it’s round two for Matt Schmidt as well. 

“I’ve had some good legs and some bad legs and had to drop a few dogs for some unexpected injuries,” Schmidt said at the Sawbilll checkpoint Tuesday. 

It’s easier to enjoy the hilly route along the North Shore once you’ve done it once. Schmidt hails from Grand Marais, so he is plenty familiar with the terrain. 

“It’s a beautiful trail. Yesterday, we were up by Grand Portage, and that’s one of the most beautiful trail in the state, I think,” Schmidt said. “You get a lot of scenic overviews.”

Ray, Minnesota musher and reigning Beargrease champion Ryan Anderson is running in second as of Tuesday evening, followed by Canadian Denis Tremblay. 

Redington gives all the credit to his team for the stellar performance so far. 

“My little leader, Rumba, and Archer, they’re small, but they got a lot of heart,” Redington said. 

He said it’s been fun to be behind them. 

“When I think they’re going to start slowing down, they seem to speed up,” Redington said. 

The Beargrease is expected to finish at roughly 6 a.m. Wednesday at Billy’s Bar in Duluth. 


Baihly Warfield

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