Top Mushers: Letzring, Schroeder, and Freking scratch from the Beargrease

Blake Freking is the latest musher to pull out of the 2022 Beargrease race. According to QRILL Paws tracking, Freking scratched near the Skyport checkpoint. He was running eight dogs. Freking is a two-time champion of the Beargrease, winning in 2004 and 2019.

Overnight, seven Beargrease mushers scratched from the 2022 Beargrease race. The total number who have dropped is 12, half the field of 24. Race officials say warm temperatures and punchy snow made it too difficult to keep running.

Two notable scratches include Erin Letzring, the 2021 champion and leader as of Monday night, and Nathan Schroeder, a four-time champion.

Beargrease officials Tweeted some reasons as to why mushers have been scratching this year. Race officials say, "in short, it’s because of the warm temps and snow conditions."

According to @johnbeargrease, each musher is making decisions based on the health of their team.

They say the warm temperatures make the snow conditions harder to run in. Beargrease officials say the mushers call the snow "punchy." They explain it is like running through mashed potatoes.

Other teams who dropped out overnight are:

  • Kevin Mathis
  • Nick Vigilante
  • Katherine Langlais
  • Laura Neese
  • Jesse Terry

Two-time champion Ryan Redington also scratched Monday night, and Mary Manning and John Fisher dropped out earlier Monday.

Alice White scratched Tuesday afternoon.

RELATED STORY: Ryan Redington scratches from John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

Ryan Anderson held a good lead, leaving the final checkpoint at 1p.m. Monday morning to run the last 31 miles to the finish. Wade Marrs has left Mineral Center as well. Anderson had about an hour head start. Marrs in currently 8 miles behind Ryan Anderson.

For more stories about the race and the teams visit our John Beargrease page.