Opening Ceremony for the Sled Dog Marathon Held in Hermantown

Hundreds Gathered For the Ceremony

Hundreds of people filled the room for the opening ceremony of the North shore’s Iconic John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.

It started with the drum ceremony, while attendees sat down to enjoy a delicious meal to welcome the 32nd running of the race.

“For a lot of people on the North Shore their families have been doing it for a long time,” said Erin Altemus, a Musher.

Mushers also received their bib numbers in preparation for the big day. 

“I’m excited I’m nervous, it’s such a big race,” Altemus said. 

The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon was named after the musher who carried mail across the North Shore using sled dogs.

“So dogs at one time were vital or necessary part of the community for transportation or mail,” said Altemus.

Though mushing is more of a hobby in the Northland now, there are people keeping the tradition alive.

“It’s more than just an athletic competition, as you can see from the people in the room and the culture involved, we’re paying honor to the North Shore’s original internet, John Beargrease,” said Jason Rice, a Director at the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. 

The race starts at 11 am on Sunday in Two Harbors.

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