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Kids try mushing at Cub Run

Danielle Crawford competes in the John Beargrease Cub Run. (News-Chronicle photo by Jamey Malcomb)1 / 5
Sadie Klesser pets Agex, a dog from Manitou Crossing Kennels. (News-Chronicle photo by Jamey Malcomb)2 / 5
Lumen Anderson crosses the finish line at the John Beargrease Cub Run on Saturday, Jan. 20, near Silver Creek Townhall. (News-Chronicle photo by Jamey Malcomb)3 / 5
Elena Freking (left) and Patty Omerza take a video of Elena's sister, Nicole, finishing the John Beargrease Cub Run. (News-Chronicle photo by Jamey Malcomb)4 / 5
Chester, a retired sled dog with Manitou Crossing Kennels in Finland, waits in the truck during the John Beargrease Cub Run. Owner Blake Freking said Chester, 16, saw them loading up the truck and wanted to come along for the ride. (News-Chronicle photo by Jamey Malcomb)5 / 5

During the warm, sunny weather Saturday, Jan. 20, 10 kids were trying their hand at running a dog team at the John Beargrease Cub Run near Silver Creek Town Hall.

Some mushers had taken their first ride on a dog sled less than a month ago, while others have been training for nearly as long as they could walk. Participants ranged in age from 3-14 and all showed a pretty strong feel for controlling a two-dog team on the 1.5-mile course.

Beargrease President Mike Keyport introduced each of the mushers as they waited at the starting chute for clearance, much like what will happen Sunday, Jan. 28, during the start of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon at the Lake County gravel pit outside Two Harbors.

The Cub Run is designed to give novice mushers a chance to learn about dog mushing while competing in a scaled-down version of the larger race. The not only included a starting chute, there were also veterinarian checks, official timing and an awards ceremony.

Organizers used snowmobiles to pack a course across several acres of land adjoining the Silver Creek Town Hall. There were race officials stationed at spots where going off-course was a possibility. Some of the kids had trouble with their teams veering off to the right as they exited the starting shoot, but after some initial struggles, the young mushers were able to control their teams and have a smoother ride throughout the rest of the race.

Second-grader Sawyer Morrow of Duluth finished first with a time of 5 minutes, 9 seconds, while Talon DeBoer won the Spirit of John Beargrease Award and Elena Freking received the Sportsmanship Award.


Cub Run Results

• Sawyer Morrow 5:09

• Eve Redington 5:30

• Talon DeBoer 5:50

• Hazel Morrow 6:11

• Hannah Wicks 6:15

• Lumen Alfredson 6:45

• Nicole Freking 7:25

• Danielle Crawford 7:33

• Elena Freking 7:40

• Dixie Crawford 8:00

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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