Anderson Takes Top Spot in Tight Beargrease Finish

January 28, 2015 08:08 AM

Musher Ryan Anderson and his team have clinched first place in the 31st annual John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. His team pulled into the finish line at Billy's Bar in Duluth just before 3 a.m. Wednesday.

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Even when nearly 315 miles on the trail came to an end, Anderson said he still felt like he wanted to turn around and do it all again, but his first priority was to congratulate his team of 11. 

This is Anderson's second full-distance win. He won the marathon back in 2011 when he beat out musher Nathan Schroeder by just 20 seconds.

Early morning spectators didn't have to wait long for Schroeder and his team of eight to pull in at 3:20 a.m., taking second place in this year's Beargrease.

Schroeder is a three-time Beargrease champion, and he says making moves to keep up with his close friend led to a change in his usual race strategy. But when they put that competitive spirit aside, the two mushers know it's the sportsmanship on the trail that counts.

"I have a lot of respect for Nathan's dog team, especially what he did in the Iditarod last year, and to just be able to compete with him is a great accomplishment," said Anderson.

Now, more than 300 miles are over and mushers are packing up their teams, heading home for some much needed rest before the next race. For Schroeder, that will be the Iditarod, while Anderson is preparing for a race in mid-February.


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