The unusual winter we are having is causing problems with events all over the state, now one of the state's most famous winter events has been nixed for 2024.

The Board of Directors for the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon announced that they have decided to postpone the 40th running of the race until January 26, 2025, they say, "This was not an easy decision. But, with concerns over the weather, safety of the dogs, mushers, and volunteers it was the only decision that we felt comfortable with."

Rather than taking the chance on snow arriving at some point this winter and the possibility of interfering with other scheduled sled dog races, organizers say the best option was to just suspend the event for this year and try again next year.

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The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon was scheduled to get underway on January 28th but with less than 3 inches of snow currently on the ground in most of northern Minnesota and no significant snow accumulation in the forecast, while it was a hard decision for the board of directors to make, it was the only choice they could make as they ideally need 12-18 inches of snow and could even pull the race off with 8-10 inches.

It's rare to have to cancel the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, the only other time it was canceled was in 2007, that event was delayed before it was canceled, and that was the first time in race history that the event was canceled.

The annual 400-mile race along the Northshore started in 1980 and is the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 states and is a qualifying race for the Iditarod race in Alaska. The race honors winter mail carrier John Beargrease who delivered mail between Two Harbors and Grand Portage in the late 1800s.

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