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

Beargrease 2020: "Mushing is just one of the things women do better than men"

John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

It might be Erin Schouweiler's first Beargrease as a Schouweiler -- but it's not her first sled dog race or even her first Beargrease.

Racing a team from the Schouweiler's Otter Run Kennels, including some dogs that carried her mother-in-law, Martha, to a second place finish in the mid-distance race last year, Erin handily took first in the Beargrease 120.

"She was so far ahead on the last run," says former musher, trainer, Beargrease champion and KUMD Race Reporter John Stetson, "she could just cruise in without a lot of stress.

"I think mushing is just one of the many things women do better than men," he added.

And with that, he went on to explain why!

11:00 AM UPDATE:

Early this morning in Finalnd Minnesota, Erin Schouweiler of Irma, Wisconsin and her team of dogs won the 2020 Beargrease 120 title (aka the "mid-distance" race). Coming in second was Rita Wehseler of Tofte, MN, followed by Steph Love of Duluth.  As Beargrease officials stated, it is "[a]n impressive finish by an all-female cast."

Erin Schouweiler's mother-in-law is Martha Schouweiler, who won the Beargrease 120 championship four years running from 2015 to 2018 and, this year, has claimed the title of Beagrease 40 champion, finishing in Two Harbors last night.


Colleen Wallin and her dog team were the 15th to leave the start yesterday, but after taking only a four-hour minimum rest this morning at the Sawbill Checkpoint, she was the first to depart for the Trail Center Lodge.  KUMD's trail reporter John Stetson reminds us that although Ryan Redington (and others) took a longer rest at Sawbill, Redington's overall trail time and average speeds are faster than Wallin's, and Redington's greater cumulative rest will be an advantage down the trail as all teams are required to acquire a minimum 24 hour rest total. 

Compared to the previous leg of the race, the Trail Center to Skyport leg is a bit more of a level run with a downhill at the end.  The weather is steady with no now snowfall expected, although temps in the mid-20s are a bit on the warm side for many dogs.  The overall factors as we look ahead are the comparative pace set by each team combined with their cumulative rest.  In other words, who will be the fastest and yet the most rested and how will that position them best as they approach the finish? Lisa Johnson will get the next update with trail reporter john Stetson tomorrow morning at 8 a.m.

John Beargrease Trail Report, Monday 1/27 at 2 p.m.

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.
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