John Beargrease Finland Checkpoint 2023

This year the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon will be starting at Billy’s Bar in Duluth the morning of Sunday January 29th, so we are expecting the first Marathoners around 6pm and Mid-Distance mushers after that. Be sure to tell your friends to come out and visit the Finland Checkpoint and experience the excitement of this unique event.

With that in mind, the kitchen at the Clair Nelson Center will be open at 3pm on Sunday the 29th and will stay open into the wee hours of the 30th. We will serve chili made with locally grown beef and wild rice, cookies, bars, and beverages. This is a fundraiser for our programs here at the Center.

We need a couple of volunteers to help in the kitchen – call 218-353-0300 if you want to help! We could also use donations of bars or cookies. Please drop off on Friday January 27th between 10am-4pm or on Sunday the 29th starting at 3pm.

The Race and Finland Checkpoint always need volunteers. If you want to be outside helping please visit to find out more info.

And last but not least, donations of firewood for the Checkpoint campfire and road crossing campfires are much appreciated.

Follow the race online here. Welcome to Finland will be livestreaming from the Finland Checkpoint at

Join us in person or online to experience this unique event!


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