TWO HARBORS (AP) - This year's John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon will be a lot smaller than in past years.

Thirty mushers are expected to take off Sunday, bound for a finish line in Duluth in what's billed as the longest sled dog race in the Lower 48 states.

That's less than half the number of about a decade ago. Racers who no longer run dogs say they've chosen to get out because of the high expense and personal cost of training and maintaining a competitive team of dogs - especially when prize money is fairly small.

Two-time winner John Stetson of Duluth says it takes so much time and money that it's "not sustainable." He says he would get right back in - if he ever hits the lottery.