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And They're Off: 36th John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

Updated: January 26, 2020 10:56 PM

The 36th John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is underway. Surrounded by a large crowd of spectators, mushers and dogs hit the trail on Sunday morning, starting with the full marathon.  There are 14 teams running the full marathon this year.

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Blake Freking, of Finland, Minnesota was the first to leave the chute just after 11 a.m. Freking is the reigning Beargrease Marathon Champion, winning the 2019 race with a finish time of 19:32:31. That was Freking's second win. He also brought home the title during his rookie year in 2006.

Freking's wife, Jennifer came in second place in 2019. She is also running this year's race, having left Billy's Bar in 6th position.

WDIO will be covering the Beargrease Marathon with live stops along the trail on WDIO.com, our mobile app and during WDIO News at Five, Six and Ten. Baihly Warfield and Chelsie Brown will have indepth coverage from the trail. There are a number of teams to watch this year.

Four-time champion Nathan Schroeder of Chisholm is looking to break the record for most wins. He won the 2016 Sled Dog Marathon with a time of 33:01:00, and also brought home the 2014, 2013, and 2010 honors. Schroeder is currently tied with Jamie Nelson. Nelson won in 1988, 1995, 1997 and 1998.

Ryan Anderson of Cushing, Wisconsin won the Beargrease 120 race last year. Anderson is participating in the full marathon this year. Anderson has three championships to his name, crossing the finish line first 2011, 2015, and 2017.

This story will be updated.

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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