MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This Sunday marks the start of one of Minnesota’s greatest traditions.

The John Beargrease Sled dog marathon will bring mushers from across the country to Duluth. Getting the dog teams ready for the race is a year-round effort for the entire Wallin family, who lives near Two Harbors.

Colleen, her husband Wade and their two sons, Ian and Errol, devote most of their leisure time training and feeding the team. The dogs get a diet high in protein and fat because they’re running about 100 miles a week.

Colleen is expecting a lot from them for the biggest race of the year.

“I get out here and there’s just nothing more I want to see. I want to see every one of them. Every one of them gets a belly rub. They get a good job.  They’re creatures that the relationship is second to none,” she said.”

Wallin and her dogs have competed in the Beargrease 15 times.  Last year she finished third.  But for her, it’s not really about winning.

Comments (3)