An Exciting Beargrease Finish

     I can’t remember a time when there’s been a close finish at the Beargrease but this year’s race will be remembered as one.  Ryan Anderson was only 13 seconds ahead of last year’s champion Nathan Schroeder.  The race finish couldn’t get much closer than that.  Here’s an excerpt from the Beargrease Blog.

Posted on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

A Photo Finish

After four days and 370+ miles, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon has been decided. Ryan Anderson (Bib #17)  is your 2011 Beargrease champion. Victory didn’t come easy.  Nathan Schroeder (Bib #10), last year’s champion, appeared to be in control of the race by mile 270 on the Devil Track to Sawbill leg of the race.  By the time the two competitors had passed the Sawbill checkpoint and started toward Finland, they were locked in an uncomfortably tight battle that continued all the way through to the finish.

The usually soft-spoken Ryan Anderson was visibly excited about his team’s victory. “I was hoping for a strong finish when we started the race, but didn’t expect to win.” Most of Ryan’s dogs are young, only one to three years old. From the beginning, Ryan planned to run a conservative race. “Neither the dogs nor I have ever run this far,” Ryan confessed. “This team is only going to get better with time!”

Amazingly, Nathan Schroeder finished only 13 seconds behind Ryan. “I made a few errors at Sawbill and Highway 2. Ryan caught me and beat me.”

This has been a fantastic finish to a four-day journey for all of us. By mid-race we could see that this had the potential to be one of those special races, the kind that memories are made of. We got more than we ever could have imagined.

There are still mushers out on the trail pushing toward the finish. We’ll continue to follow them as they stream into the finish.