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Anderson wins third Beargrease title

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Beargrease musher Ryan Anderson reaches the finish line near Duluth this morning to win his third title. (Andrew Krueger / / 2

Musher Ryan Anderson won his third John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon title this morning, crossing the finish line near Duluth just after 10 a.m.

Anderson, of Ray, also won the race in 2011 and 2015. He joins elite company -- the only other mushers to win more than two Beargrease titles are four-time winners Nathan Schroeder and Jamie Nelson.

Anderson overtook Ryan Redington, who had led most of the 373-mile race, in the final stages late Tuesday into Wednesday. Anderson left the final checkpoint north of Two Harbors on Wednesday morning with a 12-minute lead on Redington. The last leg to the finish at Billy's Bar in Rice Lake, just north of Duluth, is 35 miles.

Teams were slowed in the past day by a soft trail and fresh snowfall, race officials said.

Anderson is set to compete in his first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska next month. Redington and Schroeder also are planning to run this year's Iditarod.

Anderson and Schroeder have dominated the Beargrease in recent years; no other musher has won the race since 2009. In addition to Anderson's previous wins, Schroeder won the race in 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2016. The race was not held in 2012.

 Check back to later today for updates on this story, along with more photos and video.