On the Trail: Day 3 - Warmer temperatures a big factor in this year's John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon as Ryan Anderson wins his 4th Beargrease
Finish line update: Isaak Quick of WDSE TV joined us to report that Ryan Anderson was the winner of the 2022 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. He's now a four-time champ of the race.
2:00 pm UPDATE – Ryan Anderson left Mineral Center at 1:00:03 pm with nine dogs to begin the final leg of the race. Wade Marrs left at 1:56:12 pm with eight dogs. That 56-minute gap will be difficult for Marrs to close if Anderson's team continues to progress strongly.
Colleen Wallin and her son Ero Wallin are in 3rd and 4th place, and currently completing their required rest at Mineral Center. Their earliest departure times differ by 29 seconds, so the battle for third place will be a literal family affair. Meanwhile Sarah Keefer's team will be departing only 15 minutes later, so she is also well in consideration for third.
The North's race commentator Jason Rice estimates that the race may have a winner as early as 4:15 pm. Keep tuned to The North 103.3 FM to see if his prediction is correct!
11:00 am UPDATE - As expected, Ryan Anderson arrived at Mineral Center Checkpoint about one hour ahead of the team in second place, led by Wade Marrs. Teams are required to have a total of 24 hours rest before they leave Mineral Center, including a minimum four-hour rest at Mineral Center itself. Therefore, Ryan Anderson's team will be able to leave as early as 1:00:03 pm this afternoon. The earliest Wade Marrs' team can depart is 1:56:12 pm.
Including Anderson and Marrs, a total of thirteen teams are still on the trail, including the teams led by Sarah Keefer (3rd), Colleen Wallin (4th), Ero Wallin (5th), and Erin Altemus (6th). But eleven teams at this point have dropped out of the race, including four former Beargrease champions, Erin Letzring, Ryan Redington, Nathan Schroeder, and now also Blake Freking.
8:00 am – A lot changed overnight. A total of ten of the original twenty-four starting teams have scratched, including past Beargrease champions Erin Letzring and Ryan Redington, and Nathan Schroeder. The warmer temperatures on the trail in the first couple days has proven to be a factor for many teams.
Ryan Anderson is currently holding the lead position, with roughly a one-hour lead over the second-place team led by Wade Marrs. Both are on their way to Mineral Center. Jason Rice observes that Anderson's strategy against the warmer temps has been one of restrained, steady speeds on the trail. As a result, his team has 10 dogs remaining at the start of day 3, and is in a position to possibly win for the fourth time (he has won Beargrease championships in, 2011, 2015, and 2017).
Other mushers whose teams have now left Skyport for Mineral Center include Sarah Keefer, Colleen Wallin, Ero Wallin, and Erin Altemus, Shawn McCarty, and Jennifer Freking.