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Daily interviews with a local focus airing at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Northland Morning.

Community Connection: Ryan Anderson Preps for the Beargrease

A team of sled dogs pulling a sled through a trail in a snow-covered coniferous forest, seen from the musher's point of view
Jack Ross [Via Unsplash]

For Ryan Anderson, a record-setting fifth Beargrease Sled Dog Race win could be only a week away. But the feeling of victory isn’t this musher’s drive. “I just like to spend time with the dogs,” says Anderson.

Anderson has been working with sled dogs for over three decades now. After a time in International Falls, Anderson relocated with his family to St. Croix Falls, WI. The typical sled dog season includes upwards of five races, but with two young children, Anderson is considering whittling that number down to three. “The two kids at home, wanting to spend time with them… I’d be gone too long,” says Anderson of some of the other races that would usually take him as far away as Maine, Alaska, and Canada.

When it comes to preparing for the Beargrease, a big part is getting the dogs out in different elements. The more meteorological variables the team is used to will help lessen any element of surprise that Mother Nature might have in mind. The team is now in tapering mode. “We did our last long series of runs… last week,” says Anderson. “We’ve had some of the best training that we’ve had ever.” Ultimately, Anderson knows that there are variables that go beyond preparation and a reliance on training becomes paramount. "Just focus on you and your dogs, do what you've been doing all year."

The 39th running of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon begins at 10am on Sunday, January 29th. The North 103.3 will be providing live reports throughout the race.

Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
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