Lack of snow threatens Beargrease; organizers wait to decide statusby Dan Kraker, Minnesota Public Radio
Duluth, Minn. — Organizers of the 29th running of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon this winter in northeastern Minnesota will decide Sunday afternoon whether to proceed with this year's race.
The Beargrease race runs from Duluth to the Gun Flint Trail and back and is scheduled to begin that day. But because of the lack of snow along the North Shore, race organizers will decide this weekend whether to cancel it, postpone it, or possibly move the starting line somewhere north of Duluth.
"The weather up here is unpredictable, the forecasters this year have been more wrong than right," race coordinator Pat Olson said. "That's why we're waiting until the last minute before we have to make a decision to go or to not go."
The race has been canceled only once before — in 2007, coordinator Pat Olson said.
"It's frustrating, it's maddening, and it's because there's really not a darn thing we can do about what the weather gives us," Olson said.
For ideal conditions, another ten inches of snow is needed, but the race could likely go on with fewer, she says. Sixty mushers are already registered.