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Join us for coverage of the 2023 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.


Credit Lisa Johnson, 2019
Blake Freking, winner of the 219 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

UPDATE:  Blake Freking has won the 35th running of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon!

Freking crossed the finish line with ten dogs just before 8pm Tuesday evening.

But now, it's a dog race: watchers of the GPS tracker are seeing Jennifer Freking (Blake's wife) out in front for the second place finish, then Jason Rice (running a team of Ryan Redington's dogs).  Ryan himself and Colleen Wallin are in the mix as well. 

Beargrease winner, veteran musher and KUMD's race reporter John Stetson with his predictions:

Disaster - or just a turn of the tides - comes "sudden and swift in dog racing"

It's -10 in Grand Portage, MN and it feels like -40.

So it's no wonder that, unless you're a musher or a dog team, you're inside with a cup of coffee, glued to the GPS tracker on the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon web site.

It's how John Stetson, past Beargrease champ, veteran musher and KUMD race reporter, first realized that Ryan Redington's GPS tracker wasn't moving earlier this afternoon.

Redington took an early and commanding lead, and even this morning, Stetson told us that, barring the unforseen, Redington was poised to take his second marathon championship in as many years.

But something unforseen has happened.  Not only is  Blake Freking is in the lead, Ryan Redington is trailing his own team of dogs (the ones he leased to musher Jason Rice) and -- no, wait, Jennifer Freking and Colleen Wallin have moved up and -- well, let's just say,  the first musher across the finish line will be celebrated, but there's no telling who will cross the line next.


Lisa Johnson started her broadcast career anchoring the television news at her high school and spinning country music at KWWK/KOLM Radio in Rochester, Minnesota. She was a reporter and news anchor at KTHI in Fargo, ND (not to mention the host of a children's program called "Lisa's Lane") and a radio reporter and anchor in Moorhead, Bismarck, Wahpeton and Fergus Falls.Since 1991, she has hosted Northland Morning on KUMD. One of the best parts of her job includes "paying it forward" by mentoring upcoming journalists and broadcasters on the student news team that helps produce Northland Morning. She also loves introducing the different people she meets in her job to one another, helping to forge new "community connections" and partnerships.Lisa has amassed a book collection weighing over two tons, and she enjoys reading, photography, volunteering with Animal Allies Humane Society and fantasizing about farmland. She goes to bed at 8pm, long before her daughter, two cats, or three dogs.