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Model-turned-musher preps for Beargrease sled dog race

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Minnesota is a long way from Milan. But former fashion model Zoya DeNure, who used to grace the runways of Italy, now mushes her way down dog sled trails.

DeNure, a 36-year-old Wisconsin native who now lives in Alaska, is one of the competitors slated to start in the 29th running of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Race, the nearly 400-mile trek that begins Sunday in Duluth, the News Tribune reports.

“I am so excited," she told the News Tribune. "The Beargrease is our style of dog race and I think we will be a contender. I wouldn’t come all the way down here if I didn’t want to try to win it.”

DeNure was a model for 13 years in the U.S. and abroad, the News Tribune reports. She's an intriguing competitor, race organizer Pat Olson said. "I am looking forward to see how they finish, with Zoya really being the wild card. We don’t know anything about her.”

DeNure and her husband own and operate Denali Highway Tours & Cabins, a cabin rental retreat, according to her Iditarod race bio (she withdrew from this year's Iditarod). The family kennel, Crazy Dog Kennels, takes in unwanted sled dogs, the profile says.

Here's her website.

DeNure's husband is also a sled dog racer. Here's a profile of the mushing mom and dad by the Anchorage Daily News.

Check out a video from the Anchorage Daily News, in which DeNure talks about her dog Demon:

Meet the Sled Dogs: Zoya DeNure and Demon from anchoragedailynews on Vimeo.

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