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Erin Letzring wins John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

She and 2020 champion Ryan Redington were neck-and-neck during the final leg of the race.

Erin Letzring hugs a lead dog and handler and former Beargrease marathon champion Keith Aili after winning the marathon by seven seconds. (Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com)

Erin Letzring, of Skagway, Alaska, narrowly defeated 2020 champion Ryan Redington, of Wasilla, Alaska, to win the 37th annual John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon on Tuesday night.

Read the full story here.

Letzring, who was competing in her first Beargrease and was running nine dogs, arrived shortly after 6 p.m. at the finish, about 6 miles west of Grand Portage in Cook County.

Sarah Keefer, of Burnsville, Minnesota, was in third place and Erin Altemus, of Grand Marais, was in fourth.

Some teams left the Mineral Center checkpoint around 2 p.m. Tuesday. Other teams are still at the checkpoint or haven't reached it yet. All mushers are required to rest at the checkpoint for four hours.


Seventeen teams started the marathon. Bailey Vitello, of Milan, New Hampshire, dropped out Tuesday. Peter McClelland, of Isabella, dropped out Monday.

The race started Sunday in Duluth. No spectators are allowed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Live tracking of the race is available at beargrease.com/tracking-marathon .

This story was last updated at 6:26 p.m. Feb. 2. It was originally posted at 11:59 a.m. Feb. 2.

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Editor’s note: Some events may have been canceled after the time of publication. Please check with local organizers. Email events to outdoors@duluthnews.com.