Updated: January 26, 2021 06:39 PM
Created: January 26, 2021 06:33 PM
Ero Wallin made the most of his senior football season even though it started late and ended early. The senior captain helped lead Silver Bay to a 5-2 overall record, shutting out a Cherry team in the 9-man semifinals after the Tigers handed the Mariners their first loss of the season.
"We were a super good team," said Wallin. "Super united as a family you could say. Once we got that down, it was good. Definitely going to be hard stopping us."
When football season ended and hockey season was delayed, Wallin ran his dogs.
"Anytime I could because that's like the only thing we could be doing. I was pretty fortunate that we had dogs at that time," he said.
Wallin is the son of Colleen Wallin who has been racing in the Beargrease since 1995. Ero has been racing since he was a teenager. Last year, he finished his second Beargrease 120. It was after that race, that he decided he wanted to take on a new challenge.
"I was super excited and like pumped up and super tire. I just looked at one of my handlers, I don't remember who it was, and I just said I'm going to do the full next year," said Wallin.
Ero will be mushing the top team from Silver Creek Sled Dogs, while Colleen will be racing the naughty puppies as she likes to call them. Ero's dad Ward, will be handling for the two of them. As his parents, they believe he's ready for this race.
"I think he's really ready for it. He worked hard all summer long. He was involved last spring and purchasing a couple of dogs from Alaska," said Colleen. "As we're kind of sorting through my team and his team, he knows what choices he's making. They're all his choices, we don't have any say. We don't push him in one way or the other because this is his gig. "
At 18 years old, Ero be one of the youngest mushers to set out on the trail up the North Shore. He says some of the biggest differences from racing in the Beargrease 120 to the full marathon are the competition, more dogs, and the lack of rest. However, he's excited for his team.
"We've got a lot of veterans so that's good. We've got a good amount of three year olds and they've had they've looked the best they ever had. It should be a super fun and exciting race," he said.
In addition, Ero knows if he needs any guidance, he can look towards those who introduced him to the sport.
"Just run your own race," his mom said. "If somebody comes flying, by don't chase them. Keep your wits about you."
The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon begins Sunday, January 31.
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