Ed Stielstra

Ed Stielstra

Ed, 46, grew up in Ludington, Michigan enjoying competitive sports, dogs and being outside. After high school, he attended Michigan State University where he received a Bachelor of Science from Lyman Briggs College of Science. Approximately 13 years ago, Ed and his wife left their “real world” jobs to operate Nature’s Kennel Sled Dog Adventures […]
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Tore Albrigtsen

Tore Albrigtsen

Tore Albrigtsen, 49, was born and raised in Tromso, Norway. Tore is a wilderness guide and together with his girlfriend, Sandra Gollor, runs his own company, Active Tromso, offering dog sled tours, kayaking and mountaineering. He began mushing in 1978 and ran his first Finnmark race in 1987. He has completed that race 13 times. […]
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Noah Pereira

Noah Pereira

Noah Pereira, 19, was born and raised in Brockport, New York. Growing up, he met local mushers and was amazed after talking to them. He began mushing in 2009. He and his dad came to Alaska in winters of ’13, ’14 and 15 to train dogs. In 2013 he became the first non-Alaskan musher to […]
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Michael Williams, Jr.

Michael Williams, Jr.

Michael Williams, Jr., 31, was born and raised in Akiak, Alaska. He says, “I have been involved with mushing since birth and have trained and raced dogs ever since I can remember. My dad has been racing the Kusko 300 and the Iditarod for many years and I helped train his team while he was […]
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Robert Redington

Robert Redington

Robert Redington, 27, was born and raised in the Knik area outside Wasilla. He says he’s lived on his grandfather’s (Joe Redington, Sr.) homestead all his life. He started mushing five years ago and says he had a feeling he would run the Iditarod since he was a kid. In the summers, he does tours […]
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Kristin Bacon

Kristin Bacon

Kristin Bacon, 43, was born in Youngstown, Ohio. She came to Alaska in early 1999 to work with Providence Children’s Hospital. There she met a mentoring doctor who introduced her to his sled dog team. After helping out at the doctor’s kennel, Bacon volunteered at the Skwentna checkpoint during the 2003 Iditarod. She eventually started […]
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Sigrid Ekran

Sigrid Ekran

Sigrid Ekran, 36, was born and raised in Sparbu, Norway. She lived in Alaska from 2003 to 2008 and received her Master’s Degree from UAF in Northern Studies. She began running dogs in 2006 while she lived in Fairbanks and became interested in the Iditarod when she “got two dogs from Team Norway after the […]
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Noah Burmeister

Noah Burmeister

Noah Burmeister, 36, was born and raised in Nome, Alaska. He has chosen to stay in Alaska because, he says, “I enjoy the freedom and opportunities to live life to its fullest.” He went to University of Alaska-Fairbanks, where he studied Heavy Diesel Mechanics, Welding, Airframe and Powerplant. He started mushing as soon as he […]
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Robert Sorlie

Robert Sorlie

Robert Sørlie, 59, was born and raised in Norway. He began mushing in 1970 and became interested in the Iditarod after “winning all the long distance races in Europe. I wanted more challenge.” He has since won the Iditarod twice. He is back because he wants to finish in a better place than last time […]
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Alan Eischens

Alan Eischens

Al Eischens has been making and repairing musing equipment for the last four years. It started in 2011 when a young Dallas Seavey asked him to make some gear for his dogs. “We developed a dog coat, which today I understand he still uses, and many other mushers, his dad [Mitch Seavy]. Since then, […]
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Ryne Olson

Ryne Olson

Ryne Olson, 27, was raised in Durango, Colorado. Five years ago, she moved to Alaska to pursue dog mushing at SP Kennels. She worked with Aliy Zirkle and Allen Moore and in 2012, ran a team for SP Kennels in the Iditarod. It was then that she knew what she wanted to do for the […]
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James Volek

James Volek

James Volek, 28, was born in Michigan where he received his BA in Criminal Justice from Northern Michigan University. He moved to Southeast Alaska in 2012 to work on glaciers, saying he came to Alaska to “seek adventure.” He now works for Happy Trails Kennel as a Musher/Tour Guide. The post James Volek appeared first on KTVA 11.

Cim Smyth

Cim Smyth

Cim Smyth, 39, was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. The family moved to the Wasilla area in 1991. He is the son of Iditarod veteran “Bud” Smyth. Cim says he’s been mushing “since I was big enough to stand on a sled.” He lists his occupation wild land firefighter. He is married to Corrine. […]
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Cody Strathe

Cody Strathe

Cody Strathe, 38, was born and raised in Iowa and Wisconsin. He received a BS in Natural Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, in 2001. He first came to Alaska in 2001 as a canoe and back country guide. He moved to Fairbanks to go to graduate school for archaeology, where he […]
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Kristin Knight Pace

Kristin Knight Pace

Kristin, 32, was born and raised in Ft. Worth, Texas. She graduated with honors from the University of Montana with a degree in photojournalism. She lived in Montana where she worked for a while for the local newspaper and then worked for the Forest Service there. She came to Alaska in 2009 to take care […]
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Dag Torulf Olsen

Dag Torulf Olsen

Dag Torluf Olsen, 51, was born and raised in Hammerfest/Finnmark, Norway. He has been running dogs since 1993 and has been dreaming about the Iditarod since 2000. He says, “Mushing dogs is a big part of my life. Breeding dogs is normal work for me. The whole family is well known in the mushing community. […]
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Patrick Beall

Patrick Beall

Patrick Beall, 27, was born and raised in Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Environmental Science. He came to Alaska to work at a lodge in Bettles. He says he was first interested in mushing when he took care of 10 Alaskan Huskies in Bettles. He moved to Sterling […]
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Lance Mackey

Lance Mackey

Lance Mackey, 44, was born and raised in Alaska. In 1978, when he was 7, and his dad won the Iditarod, he was at the finish and knew running the Iditarod was what he wanted to do. Lance says, “ I graduated from the School of Hard Knocks.” He has been a kennel and tour […]
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Mitch Seavey

Mitch Seavey

The 2013 Iditarod winner, Mitch Seavey, 54, was born in Minnesota. He moved with his family to Alaska in 1963 and started mushing the same year. His dad raced in the Iditarod in 1973 and Mitch decided to follow in his footsteps. He won the Iditarod in 2004 and again nearly a decade later in […]
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Paul Gebhardt

Paul Gebhardt

Born and raised on a family farm in Minnesota, 57-year-old Paul Gebhardt has taken care of animals his entire life. He moved to Alaska in 1989 and has been raising and racing sled dogs ever since. He’s been in the Iditarod 18 times, been in the top 20 more than a dozen times and placed […]
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Aliy Zirkle

Aliy Zirkle

Aliy Zirkle grew up in New Hampshire, Puerto Rico and Missouri. She came to Alaska in 1990 and worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The 44-year-old has lived in Two Rivers for the past 16 years and has finished the Iditarod a dozen times. She is married to fellow musher Allen Moore. -Information […]
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Cindy Gallea

Cindy Gallea

Cindy Gallea, 63, grew up on a farm in Minnesota where she experienced the pleasure of the outdoors and the good feeling of interacting with animals. She graduated from the University of Washington in 1990 with a Master’s degree in nursing. She has worked as a nurse practitioner for the last 24 years. “I started […]
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Katherine Keith

Katherine Keith

Katherine, 36, was born in Minnesota and lived there until completing high school at which point Katherine decided that it was time to pursue her dream of going to Alaska. She graduated from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in 2008 with a degree in Renewable Energy Engineering. She had always dreamed of flying a bush […]
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Scott Smith

Scott Smith

Scott Smith, 45, was born in Maine. He attended Unity College and the University of Maine studying fisheries and biology. He began mushing in 1984 and moved to Wyoming where he lived for 11 years and owned and operated a sled do outfitting business. He said he knew he wanted to some day run the […]
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Allen Moore

Allen Moore

Allen Moore, 57, was born and raised in Northeast Arkansas where he received a degree in Biology from Arkansas State University. He worked as a carpenter and taxidermist there before moving to Alaska over 20 years ago. He says it was too hot in Arkansas so he drove with his family to Alaska. He began […]
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Jan Steves

Jan Steves

Jan Steves, 58, was born and raised in Edmonds, Washington. In 2009, she moved to Alaska to run dogs and train for the Iditarod. A 1974 graduate of Edmonds High School, she attended the University of Washington. She is currently employed in property management/repairs. She began mushing in 2008 and says she became interested in […]
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Charley Bejna

Charley Bejna

Charley Bejna, 41, self-described adventurer, was born and raised in Addison, Illinois. Charley has owned and operated Charley’s Landscaping Company for 24 years. His attraction to the last frontier began when he first came to Alaska in 1991 with his dad. They toured most of the State together. He participated in the 2007 Iditarod as […]
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Jessie Royer

Jessie Royer

Jessie Royer, 37, was born in Idaho. She grew up on a cattle ranch in Montana where she lived for 21 years. She worked on ranches as a horse wrangler and horse teamster. She says she got her first sled dogs when she was 15. She started learning about dogs from Doug Swingley whom she […]
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Peter Kaiser

Peter Kaiser

Peter Kaiser, 27, was born and raised in Bethel, Alaska. He graduated from Bethel High School in 2005 and has worked for Knik Construction/Bering Marine for the last two years. “Our family has always had dogs, and I’ve been mushing since I was a kid, says Kaiser.” “Watching the Kuskokwim 300 every January sparked my […]
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Ellen Halverson

Ellen Halverson

Ellen Halverson, 54, was born and raised in North Dakota. She received her degree in Biology and Music Education at Concordia College in Minnesota and then went to medical school in North Dakota. She has been a psychiatrist since 1991. She moved to Alaska in 1998 for a job at the Alaska Guidance Clinic, which […]
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Ray Redington Jr.

Ray Redington Jr.

Ray Redington, Jr., 38, was born and raised in Alaska. The grandson of Iditarod co-founder Joe Redington, Sr. and son of Iditarod veteran Raymie Redington, Ray says that he’s been mushing since he can remember. “Iditarod has always been around my family,” he said. After running the Jr. Iditarod several times, he took a break […]
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Richie Diehl

Richie Diehl

Richie Diehl, 29, was born and raised in Aniak, Alaska. He graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Technology. He’s been working as a carpenter in Aniak the last six years. He says he began mushing “as a kid” and has been racing competitively in […]
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Nicolas Petit

Nicolas Petit

Nicolas Petit arrived in the United States from France when he was 12 years old. He spent time in New Mexico. In 2000 he came to Alaska and in 2011 he entered the world of the Iditarod. “In 2011 I just volunteered to help Jim Lanier because I wanted to help anybody that would take […]
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Joar Leifseth Ulsom

Joar Leifseth Ulsom

2013 Iditarod Rookie of the Year, Joar Leifseth Ulsom, is the fastest rookie to have ever run the Iditarod. Joar, 27, is born and raised in Mo i Rana, Norway, 50 miles south of the Arctic Circle. He and all but one of his dogs came to Alaska from Norway in 2011 to be part […]
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Matt Failor

Matt Failor

Matthew Failor, 32, was born and raised in Ohio. He says, “My family taught me a love of the outdoors; camping, fishing, canoeing, backpacking, hunting, were all things we did on family vacations. My mom and dad and brothers and sister all enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle. My three brothers and I are Eagle Scouts.” […]
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Mats Pattersson

Mats Pattersson

Mats Pettersson, 44, was born and raised in Kiruna, Sweden. He began mushing in 2000, after visiting Goose Lake Kennel and buying a female sled dog, Shasta, from Jeff King. Later, he went back and bought an “awesome” sled dog, Rhumba. This was the start of his kennel and the breeding program for the kennel. […]
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Travis Beals

Travis Beals

Travis Beals, 22, was born and raised in Seward, Alaska. “I ran my first sled dog race at four years old,” he says. “I’ve always wanted to run Iditarod.” In 2013 that dream came true.” In Seward he operates tours. He enjoys fishing, hiking and camping. Info from Iditarod Insider
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Justin Savidis

Justin Savidis

In 2004, Justin (AJ), 40, and his wife, Rebecca, packed their worldly belongings into a truck and a trailer (complete with a rocking chair strapped to the top) and moved to Willow, Alaska to follow a job offer, and more importantly, to chase down a dream of running dogs. It was a quick journey from […]
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Monica Zappa

Monica Zappa

Monica Zappa, 31, was born and raised in northern Wisconsin where her family lived off the land and off the grid. She was born into a mushing family. Her mom and dad, Dan and Della Zappa participated in, and officiated, the John Beargrease Sled dog Marathon in Duluth, MN. After her dad’s sudden passing from […]
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Becca Moore

Becca Moore

Becca Moore, 43, was born in Heidelberg, Germany and raised in Berlin. She went to Colorado State University where she earned a B.S. in Natural Resource Management in 1997. After graduation, she worked for the Army Corps of Engineers in Washington. She started coming to Alaska in 1999 and worked for the Sitka Ranger District. […]
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John Baker

John Baker

John Baker, 51, was born and raised in Kotzebue, Alaska. He began mushing in 1995 and was interested in the Iditarod after watching the race in its early years. He ran his first Iditarod in 1996 and has been in every race since. He has 13 top ten Iditarod finishes, and became the first Iditarod […]
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Jeff King

Jeff King

Jeff King, 58, was born in California. He came to Alaska in 1975 to “seek adventure.” He began mushing in 1976 after he heard Jerry Riley’s race finish while listening to the radio. Jeff has an outstanding race record including a Yukon Quest victory in 1981 and four Iditarod victories. He has three adult daughters, […]
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Ken Anderson

Ken Anderson

Ken Anderson, 42, was born in Minnesota. He says he began mushing at age 3 as his parents had a recreational team. When he was in third grade, his father bought him a book on the Iditarod, and he decided to someday compete in the Race. Before moving to Alaska, he attended the University of […]
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Jim Lanier

Jim Lanier

Jim Lanier, 74, was born in Washington, DC and raised in Fargo, North Dakota, where his family moved when he was six years old. After receiving his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis, he moved to Alaska in 1967 to serve at the Native Hospital with the US Public Health Service. A pathologist […]
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Kelly Maixner

Kelly Maixner

When Kelly Maixner arrived in Alaska in 2007, he didn’t waste any time jumping into the Iditarod. “That was my goal right away, I wanted to run Iditarod,” Maixner says. Today he’s married, with a growing family, operates a pediatric dental practice in Wasilla and has a growing team of Alaskan huskies. “Kids and […]
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Rob Cooke

Rob Cooke

Rob Cooke, 48, was born and raised in Worcester, England. He received his BA and MA in Humanities in the United Kingdom. He was an aircraft engineer in the British Royal Navy. He started running Siberian Huskies in 1992 and did dry land sprint racing in the UK until 2005. He moved to North America […]
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Martin Buser

Martin Buser

Born in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1958, Martin became fascinated with sled dogs while still a teen. He came to Alaska in 1979 to enhance his knowledge of care and training of sled dogs. He began working and training with long-time Alaskan mushers Earl and Natalie Norris and ran his first Iditarod in 1980. Martin and […]
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Jodi Bailey

Jodi Bailey

Jodi Bailey, 46, grew up on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, MA, a world away from mushing and arctic winters. She earned her BA in Theater Studies and Anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. It was there that she got a grant to study storytelling and made her first summer trip to Alaska. From […]
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Linwood Fiedler

Linwood Fiedler

Linwood Fiedler, 61, was born in Vermont. He received his BSW at Carroll College and his MSW at University of Montana. He began dog mushing in 1977 and lived in Montana before moving to Alaska in 1990, after finishing eighth in his second Iditarod. He says he moved to Alaska to “race Iditarod and raise […]
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Jason Mackey

Jason Mackey

Jason Mackey, 43, was born in Alaska and raised in the Mat Valley and at Coldfoot. He says he’s been mushing “since I was big enough to hold onto the sled.” His mushing career began when he started running junior races back in 1983. After four Jr. Iditarod’s and four Jr. World Championships, he went […]
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Jason Campeau

Jason Campeau

Jason Campeau, 40, was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA. He graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a BA under an athletic scholarship playing hockey. In 1998 his team won the national championship. Growing up as a hockey player, Jason never really got the opportunity to try dog sledding, but always had […]
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Trent Herbst

Trent Herbst

Trent Herbst, 44, was born and raised in Wisconsin. He completed his education at University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse with a major in elementary education and has been a teacher ever since. He became interested in the Iditarod while teaching in Switzerland when his students wanted to hear all about the Iditarod Race. He began mushing in […]
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Zoya DeNure

Zoya DeNure

Zoya DeNure, 38, was born and raised in Wisconsin. As a young girl, she traveled the world as a fashion model, walking the runways in Milan, Italy and Shanghai, China. After 12 years in the field, Zoya was ready for a change. Soon after returning home from Italy, she bought a Siberian Husky named Ethan […]
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Wade Marrs

Wade Marrs

Wade Marrs, 24, was born and raised in the Knik area outside of Wasilla, Alaska. He started running dogs in 1996 and first ran the Jr. Iditarod in 2007, and his first Iditarod in 2009. He’s been a tour guide for the last six years. He says, “We have been running dogs most of my […]
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Lisbet Norris

Lisbet Norris

(Video and story from 2014) Whether it’s working for the family feed business or mushing, Lisbet Norris knew her trail would always lead back to Alaska. At 26, she’s the youngest competitor in this year’s Iditarod. “I’m such a rookie,” Norris said. “Even though I’m from a mushing family, I’m still a rookie. I really […]
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Dallas Seavey

Dallas Seavey

Winner of the 2014 Iditarod, Dallas Seavey, 26, was born in Virginia and moved to Seward when he was 5. He’s a third-generation musher and became the youngest musher in history to run the Iditarod in 2005. Seavey won the Yukon Quest in 2011 and the Iditarod in 2012 becoming the youngest Iditarod champion ever. […]
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