Meet The Mushers

Home » Meet The Mushers

2017 Marathon Mushers

Amy Dionne

Madawaska ME
After last years upsetting season, we're going to come back and finish what we started. Experience: Can-Am 250 and Greenville 70

Blake Freking

Finland MN
I share my mushing lifestyle with Wife Jennifer and Daughters Elena and Nicole. All four of us will be running Beargrease races. Experience: Beargrease, Iditarod, Yukon Quest, UP200, Can-Am, Race to the Sky, Hudson Bay Quest....

Colleen Wallin

Two Harbors MN
I would not be here today if it were not for my husband Ward and my sons Ian and Ero. Their support is great. Running and training my dog team is what I love to do. Our team this year is young and I am looking to new leaders to bring us accross the finish line. Those leaders are: Jazz, Marlin, Nemo, Miss Kay, Happy, Silas, Man Cub, Chickadee, Shypoke, Freeze. For all of you Waldo lovers, come see him at our truck. Experience: Can-Am 250, WaWa Gold Quest, Solon Springs, John Beargrease 100, 150, 190, 400, Gunflint Mail Run, Ely, UP 200, Bayfield. Sponsors: Julies True Value Hardware, Zups, Betty's Pies, North Shore Oil and Propane, Larson Outdoors, Dixies, John's Sanitary

Denis Tremblay

St Michel des Saints QC
Denis loves to run the Beargrease. This year he is training his dogs for the Mid Distance so he can return to the Yukon Quest in 2019.

Jay Foucher

Wentworth NH
I began racing checkpoint-style races in 2007 and have finished many 100-250 mile races since then. I have a mixed team of siberian huskies and alaskan huskies, most of whom I've bred myself. I've been out to the Marathon twice before, about 7 years ago, and was unable to finish it back then. But I'm as determined and as stubborn as my huskies, so this year I WILL cross that finish line no matter what it takes! Experience: 2016 Defi Taiga 200, 2016 Can-Am Crown 250, 2016 Mahoosuc 100, many others listed at

Dr. Joe Carson

Wasilla AK
Dr. Joe Carson is the President and CEO of Dr. Joe Carson has always been interested in the health and well being of animals and dogs which inspired him to develope all natural health food supplements and products for many species of animals including sled dogs. Having been born and raised in Alaska, Joe has been experiencing all the out-of-doors Alaska and the world can offer for many decades. White water rafting, hang gliding, ocean kayaking, hiking and much more has led to his natural love of sled dog racing. There is nothing like being on the back of a dog sled traveling through the beautiful snow covered back country with my best friends and companions - my sled dogs. Experience: Quest 300. Northern Lights 300. Tug Bar 150. Sponsors: Pet Food Supplements, Create 38 Supplements, The Buffalo Wool Co., Honey Bee Food Supplements,, Alaska Heavenly Honey, The Honorable H. M. Carson, Northland Baptist Ministries and "Sparky" The WonderDog.

Justin Savidis

Willow AK
In 2004, Justin (AJ), 42, and his wife, Rebecca, packed their worldly belongings into a truck and a trailer, complete with a rocking chair strapped to the top, and moved to Willow, Alaska to follow a job offer, and more importantly, to chase down a dream of running dogs. It was a quick journey from having a couple of dogs and handling for other mushers to establishing a kennel of their own, and then setting the goal to prepare for and race in the Iditarod. Today, they operate Snowhook Kennel comprised of 40+ dogs—some are rescues, some procured from other mushers, and others are a result of the Snowhook Kennel recipe. Growing up in Southeast Idaho, Justin has always sought out adventure including mountaineering and whitewater kayaking. Mushing and the Iditarod are a natural fit for Justin’s sense of and need for adventure—he and the dogs live for pulling the snow hook! Justin’s racing career includes the Rich Allen ‘For Love of Dogs’ award for exceptional dog care and a 5th place finish in the 2013 Northern Lights 300, a 1st place finish in the 2012 Don Bowers Memorial Sled Dog Race, and a 1st place finish and receiving the Humanitarian Award in the 2011 Don Bowers Memorial Sled Dog Race—the awards for dog care are by far the bigger honors. Justin earned his degree in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism with an emphasis on experiential education from the University of Utah in 2002. Driven to help others, his career path has been focused on working with youth at risk. In addition to running dogs, Justin enjoys kayaking, climbing, languages and reading. Experience: Iditarod (2010 - 2016), Northern Lights 300 (2013, 2016) Knik 200 (2007, 2012, 2015), Willow Tug 300 (2011), Don Bowers 200 (2012), Goose Bay 120 (2009), Don Bowers 300 (2008) Sponsors: Dr. Carson’s All Natural Products, ManMat, MOJO, Coach & Bev Haun, Mark Atkins, Mick & Jodi Oxenrider, and the Chet the Dog Plunderers: Spencer Quinn, Dawson, SiberH, Barb & Maggie & Lucy, B. Stover, Bluecat, Rio the Evil Pug, Beau the Black Pug, Teddy the Ruff Rider of Chevy Chase, Staff, Alice M. Johnson and Abbie, Oley Howlers, Wolfie Wigglebutt , The Newf Pack, Masquers & Bear Spirit Dog, Natasia the Nefarious Borzoi, BooBear, Mollypop & Sam & LouLou, Carol Harris, Tupper & Gilly, Basil & Sage, Macy the MinPin, Rose Witte, Linda Jarzynski, Tyb, Herd of Hounds, Diane C., Scout, Cherokee & Tundra, Trisha Harding of the UK, Turtleman Fred, Catty Librarian

Matthew Schmidt

Grand Marais MN
My wife Erin Altemus and I live off of the Gunflint trail with twenty five dogs and some puppies. Erin has run the Beargrease marathon the last two years and the mid distance the two years before that. This year she is going to let me run the team. I'm hoping that I can run the team as good as her and bring a strong team to the finish. Our main leaders are Beezus and Nancy who have helped me understand the meaning of life. Experience: UP200 and Can Am 250

Nathan Schroeder

Warba MN
Nathan Schroeder, 39, born and raised in Warba, MN. He graduated from Mesabi Range Community and Technical College in 1999 as a maintenance mechanic. He has worked as a millwright in Local 1348 for the last 17 years. Nathan was introduced to mushing at the age of 12, when he was given a ride at his elementary school behind a team of malamutes. He has been racing ever since. Nathan has completed many races all over the lower 48 states and has finished the Iditarod three times. He has entered the Iditarod in 2017 as well. He is a four time champion of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. Nathan has 3 children, Gavin, 7, Sawyer, 4, and Kinley, 3. Outside of mushing, Nathan enjoys fishing, the outdoors, and being with his family. Sponsors: Duluth Trading, North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, Local 1348, Local 106, Local 948, Local 1056, Local 955, Local 1176, Camp Chow, Granite Gear, L&M, Green Mill, Pheasants Plus

Ryan Anderson

Ray MN
Ryan and his lovely wife own and operate AnderTier Racing Kennel that is home to approximately 45 Alaskan Huskies (and a few labs and pit bulls to complete their home). Ryan has been running dogs his whole life and is excited to return to the Beargrease. This years race will be a little different as Ryan will be using it as a training run for both him and the dogs in preparation for their trip to Alaska in March to compete in the Iditarod for the first time.

Ryan Redington

Wasilla AK
Born into the sport. My Grandpa is Joe Redington Sr, he founded the Iditarod race in 1973. Excited to be racing back in Minnesota this year. Looking for this race as a great training and build up for my team for the Iditarod in March. I want to thank all the volunteers that put on the John Beargrease. Experience: I have raced Iditarod a bunch of times. Sponsors: RedPaw Dog Food, Alaska X, Juliet Foulds Walters and family, Bryan and Kay Gabbard, Dog, Sandie Sadler,

Scott Oly Olsen

Cook MN
Team Run-A-Muck started three years ago and is growing a team of future champion huskies. "My first mid-distance Beargrease race was so much fun last year I want to come back and enjoy some more! Thank you to everyone who puts on the Beargrease event!" Experience: Beargrease Mid-Distance 2016 and Wolftrack 2015 and 2016 Sponsors: Vermilion Veterinary Clinic, Virginia Surplus, Waschke- Cook, Vermilion Repair, Tom Mansfield Tipi Tent, Zups-Cook, Lucky Seven, Mark Shermer-Country Market, Human Touch- Cook, Northwoods True Value- Cook, Metetich Insurance-Hibbing, Windigo, Stuart Martinson Electric-Cook , Caribou Creek Gold Dog Food, Frank's Pharmacy -Cook

2017 Mid Distance Mushers

Adam Treeful

Grand Marais MN
I'm a fishing guide in the summer and I give dogsled tour rides in the winter at Gunflint Lodge. I had so much fun in the BearGrease rec race last year that I decided to run the Mid Distance this year. Plus it finishes in my neighborhood so I'm basically just mushing home. I'd like thank everyone who makes this race happen and thank my sponsors; Gunflint Lodge and those who contributed to my race fund gofundme page. Experience: Wolf Track Classic, Gunflint Mail Run, Mush for the Cure, Beargrease rec race, some sprint races Sponsors: Gunflint Lodge and my gofundme page

Alex LaPlante

Duluth MN
Alex has been running dogs for Maple Ridge Kennel for the last eight years. She has participated in the Beargrease Mid several times. She loves playing with the dogs and the puppies.

Brian Bergen

Sioux Lookout ON
Brian Together with his daughter, Leanne have a kennel in Northwestern Ontario. He has had sled dogs since 1991 and this is his fourth year of running mid-distance races. He loves being in the bush and working on the trails. When he’s not out with his dogs, Brian works as a property manager. Experience: Gunflint Mail Run, John Beargrease Mid-distance, Midnight Run, Voyageurs Classic, and Wolf Track Classic. Sponsors: Home Hardware and First Mate Dog Food

Bruce Langmaid

Kearney ON
The Beargrease Mid Distance race sounds like a fun race and my goal is to have fun and for the dogs to have fun. I've been racing for a few years and would like to add this race to my list of completed races. Experience: Tahquamenon 10 dog pro, Can-Am 100, and the UP 200 Sponsors: Downsview Veterinary Clinic

Dusty Klaven

Togo MN
I am returning for my 6th Mid Distance Beargrease, the dogs and I are super pumped to test our skills and training this year. I am a 28 year old musher living in Togo MN, with a 30 dog kennel. I enjoy the relationship I have with my dogs and value what they teach me, both in the kennel and on the trail. Currently, I work as part of the bar staff at Fortune Bay Resort Casino. I'd like to thank my sponsors, Bain Yains and my awesome handlers. We got this!

Jennifer Freking

Finland MN
Our family owns Manitou Crossing Kennels, home to about 60 racing Siberian Huskies. I've been dog sled since I was 8 yrs old. Mushing is more of a lifestyle then a sport and its a lifestyle our entire family loves! Experience: Iditarod, Beargrease Marathon, UP 200, Hudson Bay Quest, Can Am 250

Krystal Hudacheck

Cornucopia wi
Have been running dogs since a very young age, but only started racing about 5 years ago. Looking forward to my first Beargrease! Experience: Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race, Copper Dog, Wolf Track Classic, Midnight Run, and Mid MN Sponsors: Reed Realty, Star Liquor, and Stonehouse Photo

Leanne Bergen

Sioux Lookout ON
I've been running dogs for as long as I can remember. My parents got their first sled dogs the year I was born. I grew up around the sport and can't imagine life without dogs. In the summer I am a MNR fire ranger to support my addiction to dogs. This will be my fifth time running the Beargrease mid distance. I love this race, can't wait to see the trail again. Sponsors: First Mate Pet Foods. Home Hardware Sioux Lookout

Maria B Gaffney

Hovland MN
I've been running dogs for 8 years. I started out doing tours ad slowly got into racing. I love learning from my dogs and having fun! Experience: Can Am 30, Eagle Lake, Gunflint Mail Run Sponsors: Susan and Dick

Martha Schouweiler

Irma WI
Martha and son Chad operate Otter run kennel in Tomahawk WI... Irma to be a little closer and Skanawan even more exact. When Martha and husband Mark moved to Tomahawk in 1981 Chad was only a year old and his sister 3. Nordic skiing on groomed trails was on the rise. The Otter run was one of those trails and a favorite. Only the old timers will remember those days, but the dogs of the Otter run kennel over 30 years later must feel their joy of traveling over the hills and through the beautiful woods. Martha & Mark have 3 grown children besides Chad and 4 granddaughters. This is will be Marthas 14th year of racing.

Mary Manning

Hovland MN
I live in Northern Minnesota and have always enjoyed running dogs for fun; I have been running dogs for around 20 years. Experience: Beargrease Mid-Distance and Rec race, Midnight Run, Yellowstone Special, Gunflint Mail Run, Apostle Island, Madeline Island, Tahquamenon Country, Mackinac Wilderness Run, Hinckley Great Trails Sled Dog Races

Michael Hoff

Silver Bay MN
I have been racing for 9 years with Colleen and Ward Wallin. When not racing I am busy with my kids Berkley, Grady, Brekkon, and Baron. My wife Angie is my handler each year. I'm glad the trail is very well marked as I have a bad sense of direction when I'm in the woods. Experience: Beargrease, UP, Can Am, Wolf Track, Gunflint Mail Run Sponsors: Julie's True Value Hardware, Zup's, North Shore oil & Propane, Betty's Pies, Homestead Dental, MMT Heating & Cooling

Mike Bestgen

St Cloud MN
I will be looking forward to returning to the North Shore and running the race. Experience: UP 200 and mid night run, John Beargrease many times, and all the races in the mid west.

Nick Turman

Two Harbors MN
Nick is retired and lives in Two Harbors with his wife, Joy. They have 2 kids and 12 grand kids. He started handling dogs in 1988 and then running them in 1992. Experience: Beargrease Mid Distance, Beargrease marathon, Apostle Island, UP200 and Midnight Run.

Quince Mountain

Mountain WI
Quince Mountain happily married into mushing. Experience: Ironline and Tahquamenon Sponsors: Morgan Taxidermy and Up North Processing

Rita Wehseler

Tofte MN
Rita and Bill own and operated stoney creek kennels and sleddogs rides. They live on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Rita and Bill have about 50 dogs in their kennel.

Ross Fraboni

Duluth MN
Experience: John Beargrease 150 2014 1st place, Copper Dog 150, and Gitch a Gami sled dog race

Steve Peterson

Granby CO
I am married to Shelby and have five daughters and five grandchildren. I am the Chaplain at the YMCA of the Rockies and also run their sled program. My greatest love is spending time with family and I also love the outdoors making the mountains of Colorado a great place to live. Experience: Race for the Gold, Mid Minnesota, John Beargrease Mid Distance and White Oak Classic.

2017 Rec Race Mushers

Alice White

Ely MN
Originally from Georgia, my love of sled dogs began at a very young age and I entered the sport with my first husky and a bike. Since then, I have traveled across the country and become much more heavily involved in sled dog sports. I handled for Manitou Crossing Kennels for multiple seasons and now operate a small kennel of working Siberian huskies just outside of Ely, Minnesota. Experience: UP 200, Beargrease Mid-Distance, Wolftrack Classic, Red River Sled Dog Derby, Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race, Casper Mountain Sled Dog Race, as well as various smaller races and events.

Ann Stead

Duluth MN
I've run dogs forever and raced almost that long too! I've enjoyed the lifestyle and everything that has gone along with it:Racing Sprints (4 dog class to Open Class); Middle Distance (up to 100 miles); a Triathalon (sprint, freight & distance all in the same weekend!) Full time trainer and provided dogs for the Disney movie 'Iron Will'. My great job (with training partner Jamie Nelson) - Mushing Boot Camp. I also compete at the upper levels in Agility with my Australian Shepherd, Jae. Experience: Numerous sprint and mid distance races over the years. Most recently 6 dog mid distance class: Tahquamenon 30, Apostle Islands 20 & 30, Wolftrack 30, Beargrease Rec, Can-Am 30

Brandon Blaine

Milaca MN
Name's Brandon, nick-name Bud. Raise Alaskan Malamutes in Central Minnesota. Made a homemade dog sled years ago and fell in love with it. Went to see the Beargrease race in action last year and knew I wanted to race.

Brenna Grangroth

Menahga MN
I have been dog sledding for about a year. My sister and I have been working with Janet Bahe learning how to train and run dogs. I have really enjoyed working with the dogs and just spending time with them. I am excited for the Beargrease Rec Race!

Darcy Stanley-Nord

Milaca MN
Teacher by day, musher by night or when I can fit it in (and there is snow). This is my family effort. My husband is my head handler and fixer of all that I break. Our boys, age 12 and 10, make up the rest of our "team" at Nrd Star Racing. Nathan, our youngest, will be racing the cub Grease this year. We live in Milaca, MN where we training. Experience: Wolf Tracks classic, White Oak, Winter Warrior/Ripley, Mid-MN 150, Beargrease Rec Race, Apostle Island, Spirit Mtn

Janet Bahe

Menahga MN
I've enjoyed running dogs for the past several years and am looking forward to the Beargrease Rec race! Over the last year two Jr Mushers, Brenna and Nicole Grangroth, have been training and running dogs with me. They have brought lots of energy and fun to the dog yard! This is their first race ever, cheer them on!!

Jim Ward

Duluth MN
Started handling for ten square racing in 2014. And have been hooked ever since. Experience: Four years handling and training dogs for multiple kennels

Linus Meyer

Melrose MN
My kennel, Grove Trotters, is located in central Minnesota near Meire Grove. In addition to 21 Alaskan Huskies, our hobby farm is home to cats, ducks, chickens, goats and birds. I work as a Technician for the Stearns County Soil & Water Conservation District, and my wife, Ileta is a clerk at the local convenience store. Experience: Numerous mid distance races over the years, including: Beargrease, Apostle Islands, MidMn-150, Midnight Run, Wolftrack, Winter Warriors, & White oakl

Morgan McClelland

Ely MN
I have been running dogs since I was 3 years old. I am looking forward to the longest race of my life! Experience: Cub Run, Dog Days, Doug Harris Memorial Race

Neal Seeger

Detroit Lakes MN
Started Mushing last Century in 1994 . Racing in the backbone of the sport , six dog class . Sharing my experiences with school kids and organizing local races for 15 years . Experience: 2016 Beargrese Recreational , Apostle Islands , Mid Minnesota , Wolftrack Classic

Nicole Grangroth

Menahga MN
I have been mushing for about a year now with Janet Bahe. She has taught me and my sister, Brenna, how to train and run dogs. Its been really fun and I've enjoyed it! I love just being outside and spending time with the dogs. I'm looking forward to the Beargrease Rec Race!

Rob Louters

Hollandale MN
I have been a beargrease fan for 22 years when we happened upon the Sawbill checkpoint while traveling. Our family has owned and run dogs for 5 years and are having a lot of fun doing it. I am looking forward to seeing the trail and having some fun with my dogs. Thank you to all the volunteers for making this race so great!

2017 JR Race Mushers

Jasper Johnson

Duluth MN
I have been mushing for a little over a year with Peter McClelland at White Wilderness who has been extremely helpful to me as I learn about mushing. I also skijor with my dog and would like to do a race or two this winter. I am excited to do the longer Jr Beargrease this winter and had a lot of fun last year. Experience: 2016 JR Beargrease

Julia Cross

Thunder Bay ON
I have been mushing for 9 years and love it. I own 3 sled dogs, but race for White Wilderness Sled Dog Adventures. My racing team name is Criss Cross Racing. I also enjoy running, skiing, horse back riding, and dog agility. My goal for the near future is Junior Iditarod 2018.

Samuel Louters

Hollandale mn
This is my 4th year of running dogs. I love to be on the trail with my dogs. I ran the Beargrease youth race last year and really enjoyed the trail. I am looking forward to the race this year. A big THANK YOU to everyone who made this youth race happen. I am thankful for the opportunity!. Experience: Wolftrack 50, Voyageur 30, Beargrease Rec, and Mid MN 50

Talia Martens

Brule wi
I've had sled dogs for all of my life. My goal for the next year or so I want run the Junior Iditorad. For school, I am a 10th grader at Northwestern High School and my favorite subject is biology. In my spare time I ride and drive horses. I love to spend time with friends and family too. Experience: I've been running dogs since I could walk. At the age of 9, I've been running in family/kids races like the Apostle Islands sled dog race. 2 years ago my dogs and I updated to 20 mile races and this year we plan on going longer mile races. Last year I ran the Wolf-track Classic 30 mile for the first time.

IFSS logo_smallAccredited Event


Facebook Twitter RSS feed


Duluth Trading_wo subtitle