Puppy love forces contender out of Beargrease

Who says there’s no heat in Minnesota right now?

Andre Duval of Brainerd, Minn., was 84 miles into the John Beargrease Sled Dog marathon when one of the dogs went into heat and the male lead dog changed the priorities for the day.

“… my male leader was frazzled, I guess,” Duval tells the Pine and Lakes Echo Journal. “He was confused as to what he was doing. So, long story short, I had to pull out (of the race) at the 84-mile checkpoint at Finland.”

It’s the sled-dog equivalent of a flat tire.

Duval was in his first Beargrease.

“I knew a couple of the mushers that were there, but when we got there, it was new for the dogs, so they were kind of confused,” Duval said. “I’ve been to races before, so I was fine with the whole race as far as that goes, but as for my dogs, it was their first race they’ve been to.”

Duval says he’ll give it another shot next year.

Meanwhile, the racers — at least the ones on bikes — are finishing up the Arrowhead 135, shaming those of us who refused to walk 12 steps to the driveway to pick up the paper this morning.

Jordan Wakely of Grayling, Mich., spent less than 12 hours bicycling in the cold, setting a new record in the race.

The racers are given 60 hours to finish the race that started on Monday morning.

At last check, 28 racers had dropped out, several because of frostbite and injury.

(h/t: Chris Graves)