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Aili in the lead in Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

Musher Keith Aili of Ray and his team were in the lead of the 2014 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon as of 10:15 a.m. today, according to GPS tracking on the race website.

Musher Keith Aili’s team
Keith Aili's team launches into action as Aili lifts his snow hook gives the command for them to run. (Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com)

Musher Keith Aili of Ray and his team were in the lead of the 2014 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon as of 10:15 a.m. today, according to GPS tracking on the race website.

Aili, a past Beargrease champion and one of the 10 mushers in the 374-mile marathon from Duluth to the Gunflint Trail and back, was first to the checkpoint at the Sawbill Trail. Denis Tremblay of Quebec was running second, and Peter McClelland of Ely was in third.

The race started in Duluth on Sunday afternoon. Temperatures are in the 20s below zero with wind chills to 50 below zero at times on the North Shore on Monday morning, though mushers have some protection from the wind while in the woods. As of 6:30 a.m., there were no reports of teams dropping out from the race.

In the 113-mile mid-distance race on the same trail, race officials reported that Ross Fraboni of Duluth, with a dog team from 10 Squared Racing kennel of Two Harbors, was first to the finish line in Tofte on Monday morning. He was trailed by his teammate Josh Compton of Two Harbors in second place, and Martha Schouweiler of Irma, Wis., in third. Finish times were not yet available.

Elizabeth Nelson of Togo, the 14-year-old mid-distance musher profiled in Sunday's News Tribune, was with her team at the Finland checkpoint as of 10:15 a.m.

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Check back to duluthnewstribune.com for updates today, or go to beargrease.com to view live GPS tracking of the teams.

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