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Sounds from the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

Curt Olson

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Announcer: Starting time is one minute from now. One minute from now will be the start of Chad Schouweiler on the Beargrease trail. But first of all the marathon competitors duke it out!

He's even got the Rudolph dog up front with whacky red blinkers!

Musher 1: These dogs are just in great shape and we have a fantastically groomed trail. Conditions really couldn't be better!

It's a pretty rigorous race. They test both the musher and the dogs. More the musher I think.

Musher 2: There are a lot of good teams here. I'd be real happy if I finished in the top half.

Musher 3: It is a big deal! And it's a long race; it's 390 miles. It's a serious race.

Announcer and crowd: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Let the race begin!

Veterinarian: When we're checking the dogs, we do a pretty good orthopedic exam and check all their bones and joints. We listen to their heart and just do a quick physical exam to make sure there's nothing else going on with them. We check out the toes for any splits or anything that happens when they're running, like little cracks in the paw pads. We just have a good look around, basically.

Musher 4: One of the mushers said she came around the corner and all of a sudden was staring at the back end of a moose! And the moose turned around and came right at her. It ran right in the middle of her game line, through the dogs, took one step inside of her sled bag, and up over the handlebars, and then ran away. She dove off the sled and then got back up. She said it was a big bull moose. It was such a close encounter. And two other mushers ran into that!

Musher 5: At any checkpoint, there's about an hour just devoted to talking care of the dogs. So a two-hour rest turns into a one-hour sleep. But if you stay for six hours, you get a five-hour sleep. Then again, if you don't play it right and you do blow a checkpoint, your dogs are tired and you could lose a lot of time.

Announcer: Second place, ladies and gentleman, in the John Beargrease Sled Marathon is Jennifer from Finland, Minn. Let's hear it!

Jennifer: They're a pretty young group. I didn't push them at all. I let them pace themselves and they got more and more confident. I wanted to take Ziggy but he got a little sore so I had to take Ivan. Ivan's kind of a clown. He likes girls, he likes to eat, dip in the snow and roll around and play a lot. Too young and goofy. But he was just incredible. He was 100 percent there the whole way, so it was great.


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