Northwest Minnesota mushing couple finish first, second in John…

  • Northwest Minnesota mushing couple finish first, second in John Beargrease
  • Finland husband and wife mushing duo Blake and Jennifer Freking were the fastest among those competing in the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.
  • Blake Freking won in the final 36-mile leg despite leaving the Mineral Center checkpoint more than 90 minutes behind Ryan Redington of Skagway, Alaska, who appeared to have the race won at midday Tuesday.
  • Redington, who was down to just six dogs for the last leg, had his team unexpectedly stop running on the trail between Mineral Center and Grand Portage, allowing Freking to pass him and cross the finish line first, just after 7:30 p.m.
  • Freking exclaimed after crossing the finish line and hugging his two daughters and each of his dogs.

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