Record-setting race? Ryan Anderson could add 5th Beargrease title

Among the 17 teams competing in the 302-mile John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, there are only two former champions: Ryan Anderson and Keith Aili.

Anderson, of Cushing, Wis., has a chance to become the winningest musher in Beargrease history. Right now, he has four titles from 2011, 2015, 2017, and 2022.

Wearing bib No. 7, he was the first musher in to the Two Harbors checkpoint, 35 miles into the race.

“We feel good,” he said. “We had a good year of preparation, and training’s been good. The group of dogs is pretty talented too.”

He says his team is a good mix of age and experience.

“There’s everywhere between (ages) 2 and 7. Most of them are between 2 and 4. But there’s a couple older veterans in there too, and I think there’s seven dogs from last year’s team on the team,” Anderson said.

His expectation for the race is simply to get as many healthy dogs to the finish line as he can.

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