No spectators at this year’s Beargrease sled dog race

Minnesota’s premier sled dog race will take place on the north shore beginning next week, but this year spectators won’t be part of the event.

The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon traditionally attracts thousands of spectators at the start of the race in Duluth, checkpoints and the finish in Grand Portage.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WDIO-TV reports spectators have been told to stay home and watch the race online.

"Just our mushers, our handlers, our race officials, we’re up near that 250-300 person mark," race spokesperson Monica Hendrickson told WDIO.

All of those involved will be required to wear a face covering.

It’s a big field this year with more than 70 mushers registered between three races.