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Redington wins 12-dog team race at Gunflint Mail Run

Brian Larsen


Rita Wehseler of Tofte waves to the crowd as she and her happy dog team tear off from the starting line of the Gunflint Mail Run 65-mile race. Wehseler finished in sixth place, about 45 minutes behind the first-place winning time (5:14:27) of Joanna Oberg of Ignace, Ontario. 
Staff photo/Laurie Johnson Rita Wehseler of Tofte waves to the crowd as she and her happy dog team tear off from the starting line of the Gunflint Mail Run 65-mile race. Wehseler finished in sixth place, about 45 minutes behind the first-place winning time (5:14:27) of Joanna Oberg of Ignace, Ontario. Staff photo/Laurie Johnson Ryan Redington of Skagway, Alaska won the 12-team one hundred mile Gunflint Mail Run on Sunday, January 7, finishing at Trail enter Lodge in 9:06:35. Redington completed the first 50-mile section on Saturday in 4:06:48 and on Sunday ended the second half of the race after a layover in 4:59:47.

Nathan Schroeder of Coon Rapid, Minnesota placed second in a time of 9:16:45. Matt Schmidt of Grand Marais was third, crossing the line in 9:24:26. Placing fourth was Dennis Tremblay of Saint Michael des Saints, Quebec, in 9:31:43 and Ward Wallin of Two Harbors was fifth, crossing the line with a time of 9:56:10.

The one hundred mile race was held over two days, with teams completing 50 miles each day.


Above: Getting ready to start, each man contemplates the race before taking off with his dog teams on a great adventure. From L-R: Nathan Schroeder (14), Mat Schmidt (9), and Dennis Tremblay (10). Left: Brian Bergen and his team is off and running. 
Staff photos/Laurie Johnson Above: Getting ready to start, each man contemplates the race before taking off with his dog teams on a great adventure. From L-R: Nathan Schroeder (14), Mat Schmidt (9), and Dennis Tremblay (10). Left: Brian Bergen and his team is off and running. Staff photos/Laurie Johnson Joanna Oberg of Ignace, Ontario brought her eight-dog team across the line first in the 65-mile race with a fast time of 5:14:27. Not far behind, Martha Schouweiler of Irma, Wisconsin was second in a time of 5:22:23. Frank Moe, Hovland, placed third, finishing in 5:28:34. Michael Bestgen, St. Cloud, Minnesota, was fourth, crossing the line in 5:31:03 and Tofte, Minnesota’s Rita Wehseler placed sixth with a time of 5:50:10. Hovland musher Mary Manning took ninth place with a time of 6:30:41. Gunflint Lodge’s Adam Treeful took 11th with a time of 7:36:08.

As for Frank Moe, he summed up his race this way, “All things considered we had a great weekend. Our main leader, Iris, broke her leg on a training run on Thursday. She had surgery on Friday and may fully recover by next season. Until then we have yet another house dog. We already have three dogs, a cat, a pig and a mouse in the house...now four dogs. But like my grandmother used to say when I complained, ‘We make our own choices.’

“My team ran third, and John Vital ran our second team and was eighth. The race was very well run, and I think a great success,” said Moe.

In a blog post, Ryan Redington shared, “It was a fun race and cold in the beginning and then lots of wind in the second half of the race. That wind I enjoyed as it’s good Iditarod training, but it did challenge us on Poplar Lake. My young leaders Quincy and Archer kinda went like a noodle across the lake for a couple of miles as we zig-zagged back and forth trying to stay at least near the trail and a couple of times I had to lead them and point them on the right direction. Made it interesting as there was not much snow on the lake because of the wind. Anyways I am proud of the dogs.”

The 2018 Dick Parker Volunteer of the Year award was presented to the Carl Madsen and Mike Seim team who worked on the Gunflint Trail road safety crew, ATV mechanics, stat helpers, GPS providers, aftermath cleanup crew, and traffic control trainers.

Veteran musher Arleigh Jorgenson was the race marshal.


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2018-01-13 digital edition


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