TWO HARBORS -- Some of the best mushers in the country will be heading to the north shore this weekend, and among them will be a St. Cloud man. Mike Bestgen is one of about 60 competitors in the various races during the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.

Bestgen is entered in the mid-distance race, which is 120 miles long.

The first leg is about 38 miles and I did that in about three hours.  And then we rested for five hours.  Then the next leg is 41 miles.  Then we rested for three hours.  Then the last leg in our race is another 41 miles.

Bestgen says the mid-distance race has eight dogs pulling the sled. He says he's switching his strategy a bit this year.

The team I'm bringing this year is a veteran team, so they've all raced.  Last year I think I had a little more power, but this year I have a little more speed.

The mid-distance race starts around 11:30 a.m. near Two Harbors on Sunday and will end around 7:00 a.m. on Monday near Grand Marais.

The marathon is a 14-dog class, with a distance of 400 miles. They'll start Sunday morning and end sometime early Wednesday morning.

John Beargrease also has youth and recreational divisions.

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