Sixty of the best mushers in the country are on the North Shore this weekend for the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. Saint Cloud resident Mike Bestgen is competing in the mid-distance, 120-mile race and says last time he and his team did the first 38-miles in about three hours, “and then we rested for five hours, and then the next leg is 41 miles, and we rested for three hours, and then the last leg in our race is another 41 miles.”
Bestgen says the mid-distance race has eight dogs pulling the sled and he’s switching his strategy this year: “The team I’m bringing this year is a veteran team. Last year I think I had a little more power, but this year I have more speed.”
The mid-distance race starts just before noon Sunday near Two Harbors and ends Monday morning near Grand Marais. The marathon is 400 miles, starting Sunday morning and ending early Wednesday morning.