The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon organizers are still planning on holding the event this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they likely won't be allowing spectators at the race because of physical distancing guidelines.

WDIO has reported that organizers are working with the Minnesota Department of Health on how to safely hold the race by creating a COVID-19 plan. They also need to follow the guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

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They want to keep mushers, volunteers, fans, spectators, and of course the canines safe this year.

Annually crowds gather at the starting shoot for the send off of mushers in the race. There are several checkpoints and viewing spots along the course where some spectators have gathered in years past. Of course the finish has always had a crowd as well.

Last year the winning musher was Blake Freking, followed by second place Jennifer Frecking, and third place was Jason Rice.

This year's John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is set for January 31st, 2021. They have also added a new virtual 5k event for fans this year. It's called the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Fur-K. It takes place Friday September 25- Sunday September 27.

Fans can participate from wherever they choose to walk, run, or explore. Entrants will receive a limited edition John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Fur-K T-Shirt. The proceeds from this event will go towards supporting the John Beargrease non-profit organization. You can find more information on how to register and participate on their Fur-K webpage.