Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race Jan. 6-7 and 

John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Jan. 28-31 

Cook County, Minn. -  December 26, 2017 - Dog sled racing season in Grand Marais and surrounding Cook County communities draws local and world-class mushers and their sled dog teams for the upcoming Gunflint Mail Run (GMR) Sled Dog Race on Saturday, Jan. 6 - Sunday, Jan. 7, and the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Sunday, Jan. 28 - Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.  


The Gunflint Mail Run kicks off the start of the season in Cook County, and features two races: the original event, which is a 12-dog, 100-mile race that includes two runs, approximately 50 miles each, over a two-day stretch, and an eight-dog shorter and faster race (65 miles). The race will start and finish at Trail Center Lodge, 7611 Gunflint Trail, on Poplar Lake, Grand Marais, Minn.  (For non-locals, Trail Center Lodge is approximately 30 miles up the Gunflint Trail). for more details.


The following mushers plan to participate in the 2018 Gunflint Mail Run:


12-dog teams:

  • Ryan Redington, from Callin' Trail Kennel, Ashland, Wis.
  • Erin Redington, from Callin' Trail Kennel, Skagway, Alaska
  • Julie Albert, from Chenil Makamic, Saint-Michel des Saints, P.Q., Que.
  • Denis Tremblay, from Saint-Michel des Saints, P.Q., Que.
  • Mary Manning, from Doodle Dog Kennel, Hovland, Minn.
  • Matt Schmidt, from Mush Lake Racing, Grand Marais, Minn.
  • Damon Ramaker, from Deep Root Kennel, Fountain, Minn.
  • Blair Braverman, from Beaver Mountain Mushing, Mountain, Wis.
  • Ward Wallin, from Silver Creek Sled Dogs, Two Harbors, Minn.
  • Elizabeth Nelson, from 3G Kennel, Togo, Minn.



8-dog teams:

  • John Vitek, Moetown Kennels, Hovland, Minn.
  • Andy Heerschap, from Ravensway Sled Dog Kennel, Nolalu, Ont.
  • Linus Meyer, from Grove Trotters, Melrose, Minn.
  • Frank Moe, from Moetown Kennels, Grand Marais, Minn.
  • Michael Bestgen, from Fugarwe Kennels, Saint Cloud, Minn.
  • Joanna Oberg, from Run Silent Racing, Ignace, Ont.
  • Dusty Klaven, from Klaven's Crazy K-9s, Togo, Minn.
  • Heather Myers, from Mush Lake Racing, Grand Marais, Minn.
  • Kevin Malikowski, from Outing, Minn.
  • Martha Schouweiler, from Otter Run Kennel, Irma, Wis.
  • Andrea DeBoer, from Amaro Kennel, Grand Marais, Minn.
  • Tim Chisholm, from Bad Moon Rising Kennel, North Branch, Minn.
  • Brandon Blaine, from Paws Blazing, Milaca, Minn.
  • Rita Wehseler, from Stoney Creek Kennel, Tofte, Minn.


John Beargrease race stops at Trail Center and Grand Portage Casino on Jan. 29


Dog sled racing fans can also look forward to the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon on Sunday, Jan. 28 - Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2018.  This is the longest dog sled race in the lower 48 states and is a qualifier for the famed "Iditarod" in Alaska.  Over 60 world-class mushers are expected at this year's race, vying for cash prizes totaling $20,000.  The races will traverse the Sawtooth Mountains in Cook County, going as far north as Gunflint Lake near the Canadian border. For a spectators' map, visit  


The Beargrease marathon will start just outside of Two Harbors, then head to Trail Center on the Gunflint Trail and back, while the shorter, mid-distance race goes one-way on the route. The marathon typically takes three days to complete. Close to 500 volunteers from around the country come together each winter to support the event. For more race details, visit


About Visit Cook County 

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as "the Arrowhead" and the "North Shore of Lake Superior".  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades -- most recently it was named USA Today's Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine's The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel's 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. "Naturally Unforgettable." Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitors, Facebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at