Gunflint Mail Run features two races this year, including a new faster eight-dog event


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Gunflint Mail Run features two races this year, including a new faster eight-dog event

2016 Gunflint Mail Run set for Jan. 9-10

COOK COUNTY, Minn. – Nov. 10, 2015 – The Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race on Saturday, Jan. 9-Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016 will feature its usual 12-dog, 100-mile race that includes two runs, approximately 50 miles each, over a two-day stretch.  This year, an added attraction will be an eight-dog shorter and faster race (70 miles).

“Our county is becoming known as the dogsled capitol of the Lower 48 – only Alaska and Canada have more dogsledding than Cook County,” says Linda Kratt, executive director of Visit Cook County.  “In addition to the Gunflint Mail Run and the John Beargrease Sled Marathon, which happens later in January, many of the local mushers make sled dog rides available to visitors to our area.”

Up to 30 mushers will start and finish the Gunflint Mail Run at Trail Center Lodge, 7611 Gunflint Trail, on Poplar Lake, Grand Marais, Minn. (For non-locals, Trail Center Lodge is approximately 30 miles up the Gunflint Trail.)

“The shorter, faster eight-dog race will add a whole new dimension to the Gunflint Mail Run,” according to race co-director Jack Stone, owner of Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply. “This shorter race also gives newer mushers or mushers with smaller team kennels the opportunity to compete in this race.” The total purse for both races is expected to be $6,000, depending on the success of the online auction and the raffle for the new ATV, which is on display at the Holiday Station in Grand Marais.

 

Raffle tickets can be purchased at the Holiday Station, Trail Center, Stone Harbor, and at the Super America in Grand Marais. Fika Coffee is creating a special Mushers Blend for the event, which will be served at Trail Center and will be for sale there and at Stone Harbor.

For more info and specific times of related events, follow: https://www.facebook.com/GunflintMailRun and Visit Cook County . http://www.visitcookcounty.com/entry/?id=3780

Photo by Nace Hagemann of Gunflint Mail Run 2015

Online auction Jan. 1-10

The Gunflint Mail Run is sponsored by a 501(c)(3) non-profit board, including Stone, Co-Director and Trail Center Owner Sarah Hamilton, and Social Media and Web Designer Ann Papenfuss. They are planning an online auction that runs from Jan. 1-10 to raise money for the event. Stone says some great gifts have been donated, including pictures and paintings from many local artisans and gift certificates for local businesses. The auction web site will be posted on the race’s Facebook page.

 

Anyone interested in volunteering for the race can contact Lisa Luttinen at o2boutside@gmail.com This event is in cooperation with and under a Special Use Permit from the U.S.  Forest Service.

 

About Visit Cook County

Cook County, Minn. includes the communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage. This spring, Grand Marais was named the 2015 “Coolest Small Town in America” by Budget Travel, thanks to a social media voting contest. Visit Cook County inspires guests to rekindle their sense of adventure by boldly escaping the ordinary, from Minnesota’s tallest mountains to its greatest lakeshore. Stay in touch via www.visitcookcounty.com, Twitter @CookCoVisitors or Facebook.

 

###

 

 

 

Song about mail carrier John Beargrease to debut at Bethlehem Lutheran Church Dec. 6-7 in Grand Marais

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Song about mail carrier John Beargrease to debut at Bethlehem Lutheran Church Dec. 6-7 in Grand Marais

COOK COUNTY, Minn., (Nov. 30) – “Snowfall,” a selection from the song cycle “CRAZY COLD BEAUTIFUL” about the history and culture of sled dog mushing along the north shore of Minnesota as influenced by 19th-century Anishinaabe mail carrier John Beargrease, will be performed for the first time by The Borealis Chorale at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1st Ave. West, in Grand Marais Sunday and Monday, Dec. 6-7. The concert begins at 7 p.m. The concert also will include music from Handel’s Messiah (Christmas portion) and will feature visiting soloists, a 90-piece choir, and a 20-piece orchestra. Accomplished composer, director and musician William Beckstrand directs.

As a 2014 McKnight Visiting Composer with the American Composer Forum, Robin Escher received a grant for writing the song cycle CRAZY COLD BEAUTIFUL during the past year.  “Many resources in Grand Marais and nearby communities have informed this work,” says Eschner, including her meetings with mushers and sled-builders, librarians, writers, historians, musicians, and people from families who have lived along the North Shore area for generations, as well as letters and journal writings that were written between 1880-1900 and shared by the local historical society.

“My grant project proposal was to compose a song cycle about the history and culture of sled dog mushing in northern Minnesota as connected to the contributions of 19th century Anishinaabe mail carrier – John Beargrease – who worked with his sled dogs to deliver the mail during the winter months from 1880 to 1900 between Two Harbors and Grand Marais.  I hope the composition also reflects the spirit of The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, which takes place annually in January. (The next one is slated for Jan. 31, 2016.) I followed the route traveled by John Beargrease, learning as much as I could and gathering materials for the song cycle.”

For premiere performances of the song cycle in 2016, The Borealis Chorale and Orchestra will be joined by Take Jack, a nine-person Sonoma County ensemble, and Grand Portage drummers on Friday, Feb. 5 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Marais, and Saturday, Feb. 6 at Sacred Heart Music Center in Duluth.

For more information, see http://www.visitcookcounty.com/entry/?id=2278

About Visit Cook County

Cook County, Minn. includes the communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage. This spring, Grand Marais was named the 2015 “Coolest Small Town in America” by Budget Travel, thanks to a social media voting contest. Visit Cook County inspires guests to rekindle their sense of adventure by boldly escaping the ordinary, from Minnesota’s tallest mountains to its greatest lakeshore. Stay in touch via www.visitcookcounty.com, Twitter @CookCoVisitors or Facebook.

 

###

 

 

LYNN NELSON | LIN PR 612.990.0126 lnelson@linpr.com