Freking Wins 2019 Beargrease Marathon on Final Leg

Chelsie Brown
Updated: January 29, 2019 10:19 PM

Defending Beargrease Champion Ryan Redington continued to lead the pack through Skyport Lodge. Redington was the first to leave around 3:45 AM before our WDIO crew even arrived to the checkpoint.

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"His team is strong. He trains and trains and trains and trains and it’s just methodical what he does with his dogs and his team. They’re very disciplined," said John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Spokesperson Monica Hendrickson.

However, the last leg from Mineral Center to Grand Portage and the weather conditions that came with it, proved to be a game changer in this year's race. Redington left Skyport with 9 dogs, but left Mineral Center with just six. He was the first team to leave Mineral Center at 1:22 in the afternoon, but had a delay on the trail. Blake Freking ended up catching up to Redington and tried to help.

"He tried running in front of the team and back to the sled. He tried running alongside the team and it just wasn’t working, Freking said about Redington's team. "He kept encouraging me to keep on rolling, so eventually I did. I took off with the team and I was kind of watching him. I was thinking, man thats a bummer for him. Of course, a mile into the trail I realized I'm the leader of this thing," Freking added with a smile.

Freking crossed the finish line in Grand Portage at 7:32 P.M. Tuesday evening. Freking last won the Beargrease Marathon back in 2004. His wife Jennifer ended up taking second. She finished at 9:177 P.M. on Tuesday.

For a look at the results visit the website here:


Chelsie Brown

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