Mastering mushing

Grangroths revisit John Beargrease Dog Sled Marathon

Nicole Grangroth, a Menahga High School junior, competed in the 2019 John Beargrease Sled Dog Junior Race, held last weekend. This was her second year leading an eight-dog sled team. (Submitted photos)

Nicole Grangroth, a Menahga High School junior, competed in the 2019 John Beargrease Sled Dog Junior Race, held last weekend. This was her second year leading an eight-dog sled team. (Submitted photos)

The Grangroth sisters returned to the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, held last weekend in Duluth.

Established in 1980, the Beargrease is the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 states.

Nicole, 16, competed in the junior class division, trekking 120 miles of the rugged North Shore with her eight-dog sled team.

Brenna, 15, raced 40 miles in the recreational class with six dogs.

The duo participated in last year's event as well. Both attend Menahga High School.

"Since they ran last year, we bought two dogs and we gained four puppies," said mom Jeanette. "We personally now have 11 dogs that we own and keep at our house."

With one exception, their dogs are all Alaskan huskies. Bred with a desire to pull and please, the dogs range in age from 8 months to 9 years old. 

Hundreds of miles of training

"I did a lot of the training myself this year," Nicole said compared to last year when she was mentored by Janet Bahe, a local family friend who owns sled dogs. At that time, Bahe did most of the training and the Grangroths fostered some of her dogs.

This year, Nicole trained with her dogs in Menahga, riding 600 to 700 miles "after school, after work, from September to January. That's what I have done with my team at our house."

For full article, go to: Park Rapids Enterprise

Source, image(s), credits & more: Park Rapids Enterprise | Shannon Geisen