1st Minnesota sled dog race of season this weekend

The Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race
A musher and her dogs in the Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race.
Courtesy Visit Cook County

Minnesota's first sled dog race of the winter will be held along the Gunflint Trail this weekend.

Fourteen mushers and their 12-dog teams have signed up for the Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race. The race includes two 50-mile legs beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday and ending around noon Sunday. The race starts and finishes at the Trail Center Lodge, about 30 miles up the Gunflint Trail from Grand Marais.

The winner will receive $5,000.

The race began in the 1970s, before the larger John Beargrease sled dog marathon that runs between Duluth and the Gunflint Trail. Race co-director Jack Stone says the Mail Run was last held in 2012, when the Beargrease was cancelled over a lack of snow.