On the Trail: Reflections on Beargrease 2022
Chris Harwood and Jason Rice look back at the past few days of Beargrease activity. Ryan Anderson has won his fourth title in the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon! His previous victories were in 2011, 2015, and 2017. He also won the Beargrease 120 (the mid-distance race) in 2001. Arriving second at the finish line in his first Beargrease competition, Wade Marrs earned the Rookie of the Year Award. The third-place winner, Colleen Wallin, arrived just a few minutes before the team led by her son, Ero Wallin, who placed fourth.
Controlling the dogs' steady pace proved to be the right approach this year, a technique used by Anderson, Marrs, both the Wallins, and others. That restraint helped to keep the dogs cool, as the warmer-than-usual temperatures proved costly for other teams who tried running at a faster pace earlier in the race. There were also reports of the snow in the northern reaches of the course being particularly slippery this year, which contributed to many dogs tiring earlier than hoped.