The Race Is On: Beargrease sets date for 2021 sled dog marathon

The 2021 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon will start Sunday, January 31 in Duluth and ending in Grand Portage, Minnesota. The 2021 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon will start Sunday, January 31 in Duluth and ending in Grand Portage, Minnesota. |  Photo: Baihly Warfield/WDIO

WDIO
Updated: January 15, 2021 09:11 PM
Created: January 15, 2021 08:32 PM

It's one of the biggest sled dog races in North America.  But like many events during the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon will look a little different this year.

Race officials say they received permits from the State of Minnesota Friday to allow them to hold the 37th annual race up Minnesota's north shore.  The 2021 Beargrease race will start on Sunday, January 31. 

The race honors John Beargrease, a mail carrier who traveled by dog sled between Two Harbors and Grand Marais in the late 1800s.  For more than 40 years, some of the sport's top mushers have endured Minnesota's extreme weather and rugged terrain to be the first to finish the race from Duluth to Grand Portage, Minnesota.

Ryan Reddington won the 2020 marathon.  The Wasilla, Alaska native and grandson of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race founder is expected to run again this year.  He'll be joined by 18 other race teams, including past top finishers like Blake and Jennifer Freking of Finland, Minnesota.

The race's pandemic safety plan won't allow for spectators to view the race in person.  Instead, people will be able to watch the 2021 Beargrease race's start and finish live on WDIO.com.  WDIO will also have daily live coverage from anchor Baihly Warfield and sports director Chelsie Brown throughout the week.

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