Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Once-retired musher Keith Aili wins his second Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon title


February 1, 2023

Anthony Souffle, Star Tribune

Erin Aili of Ray, Minn. gathers up her husband Keith's dog team after they crossed the finish line to win the 39th annual John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2022 at the Grand Portage Lodge and Casino in Grand Portage, Minn.

GRAND PORTAGE, Minn. - After nearly three days and 300 miles spent cruising near the North Shore, Keith Aili's team of Alaskan huskies stopped Tuesday just shy of the finish line - a swatch of orange paint sprayed into packed snow between the Grand Portage Lodge & Casino and Lake Superior.

Ultimately, it was Rudolph, the dog behind Aili's lead dogs, that coaxed the team through to make it official - 14 hours, 59 minutes, 20 seconds and the veteran musher's second Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon title.

"They're scared of people," Aili said of his young team's anti-social moment in the face of the small crowd of media, race officials and spectators who lined the finish chute.


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