Beargrease Marathon Adjusts for Low Snow Totals

By KBJR News 1

January 10, 2013 Updated Jan 10, 2013 at 7:44 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)-- The Beargrease is going with a back-up plan in 2013.

The over 300 mile sled dog race along the North Shore is reshuffling the deck to ensure a race this year.

After last years cancellation, and this years snow totals looking bleak, organizers are tweaking the race and still planning on a January start.

There a lot of pent up anticipation for Beargrease Mushers.

"What we hope to do is definitely have this year's race."

With the only 2nd cancellation of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon last year, organizers say it's essential to make it work in 2013.

"Hopefully we get some snow and not too much rain and if that's the case we are going to end up starting out of Duluth," said Geoff Vukelich. "It will be a little different but same good race as it always was."

Due to poor trail conditions, marathon mushers will begin in Duluth with eight dogs instead of 14, and add more dogs at the Two Harbors stop.

In the Duluth on a snowmobile trail where the marathon mushers will start, there are big spots that are full of rocks, grass and gravel. It's a typically scene of a winter with snow totals on the low side.

Meteorologists say after a warm spell, some cold weather could roll in, filling in the bald spots on the Beargrease trail.

"We got a big time cool down coming up this next week and a few systems to bring some snow showers to out region," said Chief Meteorologist Adam Clark.

A little hope to get the Beargrease back on track.

If conditions do take a turn for the worse organizers have the option to re-schedule the event to March.

Those participating in the mid-marathon will be starting in Two Harbors, with eight dogs instead of the usual 14.

Zach Vavricka

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