The winter of canceled events due to weather has claimed another victim.
The most recent winter event cancellation due to this season's abnormally warm and snowless conditions is Northern Minnesota's Gunflint Mail Run sled dog marathon, which was originally scheduled for January 6, then postponed to February 10.
The race starts and finishes at the Trail Center Lodge, northwest of Grand Marais. The race is then run near its namesake Gunflint Trail.
Organizers shared an update on their Facebook page, noting the "difficult decision" to cancel this year's event after postponing it in hopes of more conducive conditions.
With limited snow on the ground and daytime highs expected in the mid-30s between now and the scheduled (postponed) date of February 10, the news is certainly disappointing, but not surprising.
The update from organizers reads as follows:
"The Gunflint Mail Run Board of Directors have made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel the 2024 race due to a lack of snow. Stay tuned to our website for the 2025 race date. Thanks to all of the mushers, volunteers, supporters, and spectators for your support! Take care, team!"
This follows a similar decision made about another big sled dog race held each winter in the Northland.
Organizers of the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon announced at the beginning of January that they were going to cancel this year's event completely, admitting they considered the idea of exploring a later date this winter.
Ultimately, organizers for the Beargrease decided the season's weather trends and conflicts with other races were obstacles in the way of trying to reschedule from their original date of January 28, 2024 - what was supposed to be the 40th Beargrease. They shared that they will be looking to January 26, 2025, to hold the 40th running of the race.
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Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth