Page 1

Iditarod 2012

MEET THE MUSHERS Valley veterans, rookies line up.

STEPPING OUT Race moves forward with trail change.

FAMILy AFFAIR Iditarod runs through generations.

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6


WK DO $QQX

2IĂ€FLDO,GLWDURG 7UDLO6DOH ÂŽ

“Get your own great ride at the OfďŹ cial IditarodÂŽ Trail Saleâ€?

-RKQ%DNHU,GLWDURG&KDPSLRQ

Only at OfďŹ cial Race Sponsor Alaska’s Best Prices

“Choose from one of the largest inventories in the Northwest U.S.A.�

Ram 2500

Ram 1500

Patriot

Wrangler

276-1331

Starts 3/1/12

Ends 3/31/12

1-800-770-1330

Page 2

Guaranteed!

www.anchoragechryslercenter.com Iditarod 2012

ACROSS FROM MERRILL FIELD ON E A S T 5T H AV E .

February 24, 2012


Thanks, Alaska! For supporting One-Stop Shopping for 37 years With your support since 1975, we’ve grown to 11 stores employing over 2,800 Alaskans. Here’s to an exciting race and many more years of serving you!

Honored to be a sponsor of Iditarod 40

February 24, 2012

Alaska:W 12-1-4-69979 (HRT/SSD/AWC/TLB/AXR)

Iditarod 2012

Page 3


MEET THE MUSHERS

Local veterans, rookies line up

The 2012 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race features a full stable of Valley mushers. Here are their official bios, courtesy of Iditarod.com.

Kelley Griffin, Wasilla Kelley Griffin, 52, was born in Minnesota and raised in Alaska. She graduated from West Anchorage High School and began mushing more than 30 years ago. She moved to Knik in 1992 to run dogs. Griffin has run Griffin the Yukon Quest nearly every year since 2002, and the Iditarod in 2005, 2008 and 2011 with dogs from her small kennel. “It is exciting to be the support crew for such an amazing group of athletes,” Griffin said. “We train for thousands of miles during the darkest part of the winter to race in the Iditarod. Then with nearly 12 hours of daylight in March, I finally see the incredible country we travel.”

Martin Buser, Big Lake Born in Winterthur, Switzerland, in 1958, Martin Buser came to Alaska in 1979 to enhance his knowledge about the care and training of sled dogs. He began working and training with longtime Alaska mushers Earl Buser and Natalie Norris and ran his first Iditarod in 1980. Martin, wife Kathy Chapoton, a retired teacher, and sons Nikolai and Rohn (both named after Iditarod checkpoints), formally reside in Big Lake, where the family owns and manages

Page 4

Happy Trails Kennel. Buser spends a large percentage of his personal time speaking with youth on the humanitarian care of animals and the spirit of the Iditarod. “I run the Iditarod to prove that my dogs — bred, trained and raced by Happy Trails Kennels — are the best amongst the world’s long distance athletes,” he said. He has proven to be the best four times, winning the race in 1992, 1994, 1997 and 2002. Buser also holds the distinction of having the most consecutive Iditarod finishes, 26. “We are looking forward to many more and working diligently toward a fifth Iditarod win,” he said. “While the race is always the final exam, the year-round interaction and relationship with the dogs is the most valuable aspect of this lifestyle.”

continue participating in this race.” Jonrowe is a member of Big Lake Baptist Church and is involved in co-ed softball. She says in her spare time she enjoys Labrador retrievers and Pekingeses, and she is an advocate of in-state cancer care and treatment. She is a triathlete and bike racer.

Travis Cooper, Big Lake Travis Cooper, 25, was born and raised in Kansas. He has been a handler for Mad Stork Kennel (Kelly Maixner) since 2010. This will be his first Iditarod.

DeeDee Jonrowe, Willow DeeDee Jonrowe, 58, was born in Frankfort, Germany, while her father was in the military. The family moved to Alaska in 1971, where her dad was stationed at Ft. Richardson. Jonrowe has a bachelor’s degree in biological sciJonrowe ences and renewable resources and lists her occupation as kennel owner and dog racer. She began mushing in 1979 while living in Bethel, and her mother was excited about the early Iditarod races. “The Iditarod has become my lifestyle choice that permitted me a chance to celebrate Alaska’s history and the partnership that dogs have had in it,” Jonrowe said. “I have had a chance to experience this relationship and to bond with the Alaskan culture that I admire. God has blessed me with the health to once again travel through his most beautiful handiwork, experiencing a reflection of his unconditional love through the bond I have with my team. The volunteers and residents of rural Alaska are an important element of the experience for me, and I am blessed to

Ramey Smyth, Willow

Cooper

Dallas Seavey, Willow Dallas Seavey, 25, was born in Virginia and his family moved to Seward when he was 5. He is a third-generation musher who grew up helping his dad, Mitch, the 2004 Iditarod champion, train his racing teams. Seavey He ran the Junior Iditarod four times, and in 2005, Dallas became the youngest musher in history to run the Iditarod. He also wrestled for Skyview High School in Soldotna, where he was state and junior national champion. He also spent one year training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and was on the 2005 Junior World team. In 2009, he and his wife, Jen, also an Iditarod veteran, moved to Willow. In 2011, he not only had his best Iditarod finish — fourth — he was also the Yukon Quest champion.

Iditarod 2012

Smyth

Ramey Smyth, 36, was born and raised in Alaska. His father, Bud Smyth, raced in the first Iditarod and his mother, Lolly Medley, raced in the second Iditarod. He has lived all over the state and says he moved to Willow to put down roots and build a

home for his family. Smyth ran the Junior Iditarod twice and won both times. He ran his first Iditarod in 1994 and has only missed one year since. He is a log-home builder and dog musher. “I am entering the Iditarod because I love sled dogs and I love the opportunity to race and travel with them. I love the challenge and want to win the Iditarod,” he said. “I am running under the banner of abstinence from drinking, smoking and drugs. My mother died of colon cancer and my father has cancer. I would like to raise awareness of cancer and encourage people to donate to research and treatment.”

Jake Berkowitz, Big Lake Jake Berkowitz, 25, was born and raised in Minnesota. He attended a local community college and then studied to be an EMT at the University of Colorado. He is currently earning his paramedic degree at the University of Alaska. Berkowitz Berkowitz started mushing when he moved to Michigan in the fall of 2005 to work with Ed and Tasha Stielstra at Nature’s Kennel and raced Stielstra’s B team in the 2008 Iditarod. He remembers learning about the See MUSHERS, Page 14

February 24, 2012


Race steps forward with trail change By ERIKA MOON Frontiersman.com

It’s been one of the most notorious obstacles in one of the most challenging and dangerous competitions known to man. But starting this year, the Happy River Steps will be omitted from the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The Steps are found fairly early into the Iditarod Trail, between the checkpoints of Finger Lake and Rainy Pass in the Alaska Range. A series of steep drops and sharp turns down to the Happy River, the Steps have a reputation for intimidating rookie mushers out of the race, or worse, being a prime location for wrecks and injuries. The new trail takes advantage of a mining road built last year that provides an opportunity to bypass the Steps altogether. The change has been met with mixed emotions from local mushers. Iditarod veteran Ray Redington Jr., who will be running his 11th Iditarod this year,

‘We talk about how bad (the Steps) are, but they aren’t always as bad as people make them out to be. It’s like last year going through the Gorge — if you didn’t know any better, you wouldn’t even realize you were on it. There are definitely years like that.’ —Ray Redington Jr.

said he’s had an overall good experience on this part of the trail in the past. “We talk about how bad (the Steps) are, but they aren’t always as bad as people make them out to be,” he said. “It’s like last year going through the Gorge — if you didn’t know any better, you wouldn’t even realize you were on it. There are definitely years like that.” At the same time, Redington sees a positive side of the change. “I think it’s good that we don’t have to worry about people getting hurt.” 2011 Yukon Quest Champion Dallas

Seavey, also an Iditarod veteran, said that, like Redington, his encounters with the Steps have been relatively successful. However, for every year this part of the trail is passable, there are instances where it can become extremely dangerous. Seavey used the 2007 Iditarod as an example; there was no safe way down the Steps. “As a dog driver, you’re standing both feet on your brake as you start to descend,” he said. “It’s kind of an exciting ride.” Even some of the most experienced mushers have suffered major injuries tra-

versing this part of the trail. Last year’s Iditarod saw five-time champ Rick Swenson crash his sled and break his collarbone at the bottom of the Steps. “The Steps are a part of the Iditarod lure,” Seavey said. “But considering that there is a new alternative, I think we would be foolish not to (make the change). I’m going to miss the Steps, but I’m happy to have a safer trail for the dogs.” Although critics of the trail change say it is evidence of the race “going soft,” Seavey says the endurance race is still a challenge. The distance from the restart in Willow to Nome is still a whopping 975 miles across rugged terrain under variable, and often extreme, conditions. “You’re going to see a higher level of rookies finish the Iditarod without (the Steps),” Seavey predicted. Even so, they are still going to have to endure a lot of hardship to finish the Iditarod, he said. “We still have the (Dalzell) Gorge — which is nothing to sneeze at.”

DIVERSIFIED TIRE ~ Serving the Valley Since 1994 ~

Iditarod PROUD SPONSOR of the

®

• Expert Front End Alignment • Full Suspension Service • Engine Heaters, Shocks, and Struts • Trailer Repair

CUSTOM & STEEL WHEELS IN STOCK February 24, 2012

Your Team for Tires in the Valley!

376-2700 • 2550 Palmer-Wasilla Hwy • Wasilla Iditarod 2012

Page 5


Iditarod race runs through generations of Valley families By Erika Moon

Two of those mushing families are featured here.

Frontiersman.com

The Iditarod is as synonymous with Alaska as Denali — and is held in similar reverence. With a competition so uniquely Alaskan, there is a rich local history built around the sport of sled dog racing. The Mat-Su community is home to many families who have been running the Iditarod for generations with ties extending to race’s early days.

Redington family Iditarod history names Joe Redington Sr. as the “Father of the Iditarod.” He worked with several volunteers to develop the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race we enjoy today. He competed in the race 19 times See FAMILY, Page 12

2004 Iditarod champion Mitch Seavey withdraw from the 2011 race due to a hand injury. He is a second generation competitor who will race again this year against his son, Dallas Seavey. ROBERT DeBERRY/Frontiersman

Meet Iditarod Artist

Jon Van Zyle Sun, Mar 4th all day, 10-5 in Wasilla 31 Years

Jon will be personalizing his posters, prints & children’s books Grab your posters on the way to the Restart or catch us on the return

of Quality Veterinary Care

PAIN REMOVED. LIFE IMPROVED. The Palmer Vet Clinic is pleased to introduce a drug-free, surgery-free yourClinic pet’s pain... Thealternative Palmer toVet is pleased Laser System

Call us today to see if this exciting The Companion Therapy Laser© System new technology is right for your Instant relief of pain for your pet recovering from trauma, best friend! The Palmer Vet Clinic is pleased The to Palmer Vet injury Clinicor is

Carrs Mall, Wasilla • 907.376.0123 www.townsquareartgallery.com Find us on Facebook!

Page 6

The P intro alter

to offer a The Companion Therapy drug-free, surgery-free alternative to your pet’s pain... ®

Advance, email & phone orders welcomed. We gladly pack & ship!

The C Lase

pleased Call to u

chronic everyday aches and pains. new introduce a drug-free, surgery-free introduce a drug-free, surgery-free

toifyour pain... alternative to your pet’s Call usalternative today to see this pet’s exciting new technology is right for pain... your best friend! The Companion Therapy

Mile 39.5 Glenn Hwy., just south of the Alaska State Fairgrounds ®

best

The Companion Therapy

Laserof the System Laser ® System Mile 39.5 Glenn Hwy., just south Alaska State Fairgrounds 745-3219

Mile 39.5 Glenn Hwy., just south of the

Iditarod 2012

Call us today to see if this exciting Call us today to see if this exciting new technology is right for your new technology is right for your best friend! best friend!

February 24, 2012


IDITAROD WINNERS

ROBERT DeBERRY/Frontiersman

Four-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion Lance Mackey signs an autograph for Colleen Wake before the start of the 2011 race in Willow. He is a secondgeneration musher and one of three four-time champs in the 2012 race.

Year Musher Time to Nome 2011 ................................... Baker, John .............................08d 18h 46m 39s 2010 ..............................Mackey, Lance .............................08d 23h 59m 09s 2009 ..............................Mackey, Lance .............................09d 21h 38m 46s 2008 ..............................Mackey, Lance .............................09d 11h 46m 48s 2007 ..............................Mackey, Lance .............................09d 05h 08m 41s 2006 ....................................... King, Jeff .............................09d 11h 11m 36s 2005 ................................Sorlie, Robert .............................09d 18h 39m 31s 2004 ................................Seavey, Mitch .............................09d 12h 20m 22s 2003 ................................Sorlie, Robert .............................09d 15h 47m 36s 2002 ................................Buser, Martin .............................08d 22h 46m 02s 2001 ............................ Swingley, Doug .............................09d 19h 55m 50s 2000 ............................ Swingley, Doug .............................09d 00h 58m 06s 1999 ............................ Swingley, Doug .............................09d 14h 31m 07s 1998 ....................................... King, Jeff .............................09d 05h 52m 26s 1997 ................................Buser, Martin .............................09d 08h 30m 45s 1996 ....................................... King, Jeff .............................09d 05h 43m 13s 1995 ............................ Swingley, Doug .............................09d 02h 42m 19s 1994 ................................Buser, Martin .............................10d 13h 02m 39s 1993 ....................................... King, Jeff .............................10d 15h 38m 15s 1992 ................................Buser, Martin .............................10d 19h 17m 15s 1991 .............................. Swenson, Rick .............................12d 16h 34m 39s 1990 ..............................Butcher, Susan .............................11d 01h 53m 23s 1989 ...................................Runyan, Joe .............................11d 05h 24m 34s 1988 ..............................Butcher, Susan .............................11d 11h 41m 40s 1987 ..............................Butcher, Susan .............................11d 02h 05m 13s 1986 ..............................Butcher, Susan .............................11d 15h 06m 00s Continued on page 9

K R O W M TEA TOGETHER WEDONE GET THE JOB

February 24, 2012

YOU CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON OUR TEAMWORK FOR FAST, RELIABLE, SHIPPING SERVICE. NAC is a proud sponsor of the 2012 Iditarod and 2011 champion John Baker. Iditarod 2012

Page 7


IDITAROD FACTS • The first Iditarod race to Nome started March 3, 1973. • Fastest finish: In 2011, John Baker crossed the finish line in 8 days, 18 hours, 46 minutes and 39 seconds. • Slowest winning time: Carl Huntington won the 1974 race with the slowest winning time, 20 days, 15 hours, two minutes and seven seconds. • 16-dog teams start the race, which means more than 1,000 dogs leave Anchorage for Nome each year. • There are 26 checkpoints on the northern route, the first in Anchorage and the last in Nome. On the southern route, there are 27 checkpoints. • The closest finish was in 1978. Dick Mackey finished 1 second ahead of Rick See FACTS, Page 9 A group of Iditarod enthusiasts wave to spectators as they are pulled across Crystal Lake on their couch at the 2008 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race restart. ROBERT DeBERRY/Frontiersman

Paws-itively the best and most complete veterinary care you expect for your pets!

HONORING ALASKA’S HISTORY IN MINING AND MUSHING. Donlin Gold is a sponsor of Mike Williams Jr. and Principal Partner Sponsor of the 2012 Iditarod.

Page 8

Proud Supporter of DeeDee Jonrowe and Team

Happy Trails to all mushing teams

All Creatures Veterinary Clinic

Celebrating 28 years of veterinary care in the Valley 4360 Snider Drive • Wasilla • 376-7930 (Just off the Palmer-Wasilla Hwy.) • Joanne Rehn, DVM. • Judy Montalbano, DVM. • Paul Bailey, DVM. • Kelly Campbell DVM. • Judy Masteller, DVM. • Susan Barnes, DVM. www.allcreatures.bz

Iditarod 2012

February 24, 2012


IDITAROD WINNERS (from page 7)

1985 ................................................. Riddles, Libby..........................................18d 00h 20m 17s 1984 ...................................................Osmar, Dean..........................................12d 15h 07m 33s 1983 ...................................................Mackey, Rick .........................................12d 14h 10m 44s 1982 .................................................Swenson, Rick .........................................16d 04h 40m 10s 1981 .................................................Swenson, Rick .........................................12d 08h 45m 02s 1980 ...........................................................May, Joe .........................................14d 07h 11m 51s 1979 .................................................Swenson, Rick .........................................15d 10h 37m 47s 1978 .................................................. Mackey, Dick .........................................14d 18h 52m 24s 1977 .................................................Swenson, Rick .........................................16d 16h 27m 13s 1976 ................................................... Riley, Gerald .........................................18d 22h 58m 17s 1975 ................................................Peters, Emmitt .........................................14d 14h 43m 45s 1974 ............................................Huntington, Carl .........................................20d 15h 02m 07s 1973 .............................................. Wilmarth, Dick .........................................20d 00h 49m 41s

Source: Iditarod.com

MULTIPLE WINNERS Musher Wins Years Rick Swenson ........................................................5 ...................................... 1977-79-81-82-91 Susan Butcher ........................................................4 ............................................1986-87-88-90 Martin Buser ..........................................................4 ........................................1992-94-97-2002 Lance Mackey ........................................................4 ............................................2007-08-09-10 Doug Swingley ......................................................4 ........................................1995-99-2000-01 Jeff King .................................................................4 ........................................1993-96-98-2006 Robert Sorlie ..........................................................2 ....................................................... 2003-05

FACTS

Continued from Page 8

Swenson. The winner was decided by the nose of the lead dog across the finish line. • The largest number of mushers to finish a single race was 77 in 2004. • A red lantern is awarded to the last musher to finish Iditarod. The longest time for a Red Lantern was 32 days, 15 hours, 9 minutes and 1 second by John Schultz in 1973. The quickest Red Lantern musher was Celeste Davis, with a time of 13:05:06:40. • Rick Swenson is the only five-time winner, having won in 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1991. He is the only person to win the Iditarod in three different decades. • Dallas Seavey turned 18 on March 4, 2005. He is the youngest musher to run

Source: Iditarod.com

the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race. The oldest musher to ever compete was 88-yearold Col. Norman Vaughan. Col. Vaughan completed the race four times. • Rick Mackey won the race in 1983 to become the first son of an Iditarod champion to match his father’s accomplishment. His brother, Lance Mackey repeated the feat in 2007, becoming the second son of an Iditarod champion to finish first. All three Mackeys also were wearing bib No. 13 when they crossed the finish line in first position, and they all three won in their sixth Iditarod. Emmitt Peters also was wearing bib No. 13 when he won the Iditarod in 1975. • Add one more for Lance — he had just won the Yukon Quest two weeks before, so he is the first person to win both the Quest and Iditarod in the same year. Source: Iditarod.com

Follow the race Keep up with all the action of the 2012 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race online at Iditarod.com. Online features include constant updates on race conditions and GPS tracking of mushers.

A dog rests inside the back of Jeff King's truck before the start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race in Willow ROBERT DeBERRY/ Frontiersman

HVAC

Heating • Ventilation • A/C Plumbing • Electrical • Installation • Service Schedule Now for your Spring General Maintenance & Cleaning

In Wasilla: 1265 E. Lolly Circle Wasilla, AK 99654 907-376-2029 Fax: 907-376-3029

In Talkeetna: 4.1 Talkeetna Spur Road Talkeetna, AK 99676 907-733-2029 BEST! Fax: 907-733-3029

Licensed - Bonded - Insured SERVICE IS WHAT WE DO

February 24, 2012

Iditarod 2012

Page 9


Source: Iditarod.com

Your Alaskan Source for Graphite Runners!

Used by Iditarod mushers including Dee Dee Jonrowe! • Sled PartS - custom & standard replacements Locally made in Wasilla • all sizes of UHMW & HdPe plastics We know home insurance. We can help you protect your home and everything in it. Call us today to discuss your coverage options.

(907) 746-0505 Cindi Heal Agency

www.cacalaska.com

Mile 3.2 Palmer-Wasilla Hwy Palmer cindiheal@allstate.com

Subject to availability and qualifications. The "Cupped Hands" logo is a registered service mark of Allstate Insurance Company. Allstate Insurance Company and Allstate Indemnity Company, Northbrook, IL. © 2007 Allstate Insurance Company.

Page 10

• exotic Graphite, titanium, teflon and Nylon plastic raw stock in many shapes and sizes including angle and rod stock • all in stock • We Ship aNYWHere

CAC PLASTICS LLC. 376-7111 2600 E. Broadview • Wasilla (Behind Evangelos)

PLASTICS FOR ALL REASONS & SEASONS

• Sledding • Freight Hauling • Dog Sledding • Snowmobiling

Iditarod 2012

February 24, 2012


Group travels trail to fight suicide and depression Frontiersman.com

While mushers race their dog teams nearly 1,000 miles in the 2012 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, an organization dedicated to ending the epidemic of depression and suicide in Alaska is preparing to visit communities along the Iditarod Trail. Carry the Cure team will spread its message of life and hope to save people from acts of self-harm along the Iditarod Trail at several stops along the trail. A team of 12 will visit different Iditarod

checkpoints March 6-13, including performances in McGrath, Kaltag, Shaktoolik, Golovin, Unalakleet and Nome. While there, members will present a “committed to life” suicide-prevention school assembly. Each evening, the band Broken Walls will present a free community concert. This is the third annual trip the organization has made to coincide with the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. “Through our multimedia school assembly and our music, stories and proven practices we will give youth reasons to

commit to life,” said Bill Pagaran, Carry the Cure president and organizer, “as well as giving them practical tools to help themselves and others in the time of need.” CTC is chartering two planes to carry 2,400 pounds of sound equipment and 12 people. The multimedia school assembly and music, stories and activities give youth reasons to commit to life and give them practical tools to help themselves and others in the time of need. Carry the Cure Inc. is a nonprofit organization committed to giving the youth

of Alaska reasons to live through its programs, trainings and school assemblies. Since 1996, Carry the Cure has focused its attention on Native youth of Alaska and has visited more than 50 communities in the state offering help with suicide prevention, drug and alcohol prevention and family marriage workshops. Broken Walls, an internationally known and award-winning Native American band. To learn more, visit carrythecure.org or brokenwalls.com.

2012 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Route Checkpoint Distance to next Distance to Nome Anchorage to Campbell Airstrip.............................................. 11 .....................................964 Campbell Airstrip to Willow Willow to Yentna Station.......................................................... 42..................................... 922 Yentna Station to Skwentna...................................................... 30..................................... 892 Skwentna to Finger Lake........................................................... 40......................................852 Finger Lake to Rainy Pass.......................................................... 30......................................822 Rainy Pass to Rohn..................................................................... 35 .....................................787 Rohn to Nikolai.......................................................................... 75......................................712 Nikolai to McGrath.................................................................... 48......................................664 McGrath to Takotna.................................................................. 18......................................646 Takotna to Ophir........................................................................ 23......................................623 Ophir to Cripple......................................................................... 73......................................550 Cripple to Ruby.......................................................................... 70......................................480 Ruby to Galena........................................................................... 50......................................430 Galena to Nulato........................................................................ 37......................................393 Nulato to Kaltag......................................................................... 47......................................346 Kaltag to Unalakleet................................................................... 85......................................261 Unalakleet to Shaktoolik........................................................... 40......................................221 Shaktoolik to Koyuk.................................................................. 50......................................171 Koyuk to Elim............................................................................. 48......................................123 Elim to Golovin.......................................................................... 28........................................ 95 Golovin to White Mountain..................................................... 18........................................ 77 White Mountain to Safety......................................................... 55........................................ 22 Safety to Nome........................................................................... 22.......................................... 0

Source: Iditarod.com

ROBERT DeBERRY/Frontiersman

Fans hold signs and cheer on mushers during the restart of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Willow.

e

Self-Serv Arctic insulAtion & MAnufActuring

“the Pre-insulated Pipe People” Big Lake 892-8440 • www.arcticinsulation.net • Anchorage 677-9540

February 24, 2012

Iditarod 2012

Mudbusters Carwash Co. Presents:

Muttbusters

DOG WASH Wasilla Burger King Location 110 E. Herning Ave.

(907) 357-3400

Page 11


Rohn and Martin Buser relax and share a laugh before the start of a recent Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race in Willow.

family

Continued from Page 6

and placed as high as fifth four times, with his last run at the age of 80 for the Last Great Race’s 25th anniversary in 1997. Redington is so respected in Iditarod circles that his name is still called at every meeting of the Iditarod Trail Committee board of directors, although he is always excused for being “on the trail,” according to Iditarod. com. His grandsons, Ryan and Ray Redington Jr., continue this legacy and that of their Iditarod veteran father Raymie, on the trail in 2012. Ryan Redington and wife Erin own Callin’ Trail Kennel near Knik. Ryan has completed four Iditarods, with

Page 12

a top finish of 18th. Older brother Ray has completed 10 Iditarods in his career, with a personal best finish last year at seventh. Ray said the brothers prepare differently for the race, but the end result is usually the same. “He trains a lot differently than I do,” Ray said of his brother. Out on the trail, “He’s usually always around. We all make it (to Nome).”

Seavey family The Seaveys are another family with an impressive Iditarod heritage. Dan Seavey, 74, helped Joe Redington Sr. found the race in 1973. He competed in the first two Iditarods, placing in the top five both times. His son, Mitch

Iditarod 2012

ROBERT DeBERRY/Frontiersman

Seavey, helped train the team and eventually completed his first Iditarod in 1982. In 2004, he became an Iditarod champion and has remained competitive. Three of Mitch Seavey’s sons, Danny, Tyrell and Dallas, have also competed in the race. In 2005, Dallas Seavey became the youngest musher to run the Iditarod. Dallas established himself as a competitive force quickly. He won the 2011 Yukon Quest, and followed that up a month later with a fourth-place Iditarod finish. He said he is proud of his family’s history in the race and has been motivated by the example of sportsmanship and competitive ethics his father and grandfather modeled over the years. Dallas’s mother, Janine Seavey, said the race has been an See FAMILY, Page 15

February 24, 2012


2012 Iditrarod Mushers Musher Hometown Musher Hometown Anderson, Ken.............................Fairbanks Bailey, Jodi...................................Chatanika Baker, John................................... Kotzebue Barnu(M) Kirk..............Grangeville, Idaho Berington, Anna...............................Kasilof Berington, Kristy..............................Kasilof Berkowitz, Jake.............................. Big Lake Burmeister, Aaron............................. Nome Buser, Martin................................. Big Lake Buser, Rohn.................................... Big Lake Cadzow, Josh.............................Fort Yukon Chlupach, Bob.................................. Willow Church, Jr, Art................................. Willow Clarke, Lachlan.............Buena Vista, Colo. Cooper, Travis............................... Big Lake Debruin, Hank.......... Haliburton, Ontario DeNure, Zoya.................................. Gakona Ekran, Sigrid......................Sparbu, Norway Failor, Matt.................................. Mansfield Furtw채ngler, Silvia......... Rauland, Norway Gebhardt, Paul..................................Kasilof Giblin, Matt.......................................Juneau Griffin, Kelley...................................Wasilla Hendrickson, Karin.........................Wasilla Herbst, Trent .............................Anchorage Janssen, Scott..............................Anchorage Jonrowe, DeeDee............................. Willow Kaiser, Peter.......................................Bethel King, Jeff............................................ Denali Kinzer, Jaimee.................................. Willow Lanier, Jim...................................... Chugiak Lindner, Sonny......................... Two Rivers Linton, Bruce.....................................Kasilof

Yvonne donates to give back.

Mackey, Lance..............................Fairbanks Maixner, Kelly................................ Big Lake Marrs, Wade.....................................Wasilla Moon, Pat............................ Park Ridge, Ill. Neff Hugh...............................................Tok Olson, Ryne............................... Two Rivers Perano, Curt..................Queenstown, N.Z. Peterson, Braxton........................Fairbanks Petit, Nicolas...............................Girdwood Phillips, Michelle.........Tagish YT, Canada Pinkha, William....Glenwood Springs, Co. Ramstead, Karen.....Perryvale AB, Canada Redington Jr., Ray............................Wasilla Redington, Ryan..............................Wasilla Robertia, Colleen..............................Kasilof Santos, Mike.................................. Cantwell Sass, Brent.....................................Fairbanks Savidis, Justin................................... Willow Seavey, Dallas................................... Willow Seavey, Dan...................................... Seward Seavey, Mitch................................... Seward Smyth, Cim..................................... Big Lake Smyth, Ramey.................................. Willow Sousa, Gerald................................Talkeetna Steer, Anjanette................Sheep Mountain Steves, Jan........................ Edmonds, Wash. Stielstra, Ed...................... McMillan, Mich. Suprenant, Michael....................... Chugiak Swenson, Rick........................... Two Rivers Thurston, Tom .................. Oak Creek, Co. Williams Jr., Michael......................... Akiak Willomitzer, Gerry... Whitehorse, Canada Zirkle, Aliy ................................ Two Rivers

Source: Iditarod.com

When Roger lost everything, she gave him back his hope.

Give to the Red Cross and change a life, starting with your own. Call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcross.org.

February 24, 2012

H20400

Iditarod 2012

Page 13


mushers

thought I’d quit dogs and get a real life after that, but I was miserable, so I started building my own team in 2006.”

Iditarod at a young age, but says, “It was one of those childhood dreams, like being a fireman or a cowboy; I just never thought it would happen.” Berkowitz moved to Alaska after the 2008 Iditarod to pursue his mushing career. Last year he won the Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog Race.

Jaimee Kinzer, Willow

Continued from Page 4

Wade Marrs, Wasilla Wade Marrs, 21, was born and raised in the Knik area. He started running dogs in 1996 and first ran the Junior Iditarod in 2007. The Iditarod was his next big step, and he completed the 2009 Iditarod in 47th place. “I have been Marrs racing since 2007 and trying to become more competitive each year,” he said.

Karin Hendrickson, Wasilla Karin Hendrickson, 41, was born and raised in California. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1991 and has lived in Idaho and Colorado, working as a teacher and college student. She now works Hendrickson in environmental regulation in Alaska, where she moved in 2003 to be a handler. “My mom had been coming to Alaska to volunteer for the Iditarod since 1998, long before I knew a thing about sled dogs or how they would take over my life,” Hendrickson said. “In 2002, she talked me into coming up to volunteer. I returned to volunteer again in 2003, and that is when I knew my future. I sold my house and everything in it, quit my job and headed north. I spent two years learning the ropes and paying my dues as a handler. I really

Page 14

Jaimee Kinzer, 29, grew up in Idaho, where she first gained a love of mushing. She graduated from Timberline High School in Boise, Idaho, in 2001, and went on to study digital media at Full Sail Real World Education in Winter Kinzer Park, Fla. She moved to Willow in 2008, after receiving a job offer from DeeDee Jonrowe. “Ever since then, I have been living my dream and couldn’t be happier,” she said. “It is amazing to see what these dogs can do and watch them grow up. Several of the dogs I raised and raced with made DeeDee’s team in 2011 and made it to the finish line. It makes me proud to be a part of these dogs’ lives. I can’t wait to travel to Nome with these same dogs I helped raise.”

Justin Savidis, Willow In 2004, Justin Savidis, 36, 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 to follow a job offer and, Savidis more importantly, to chase down a dream of running dogs. It was a quick journey from having a couple of dogs and handling for other mushers to establishing a kennel of their own, and then setting the goal to prepare for and race in the Iditarod. Today, they operate Snowhook Kennel, comprised of more than 40 dogs. Savidis says mushing and the Iditarod are a natural fit for his sense of and need for adventure. His racing career includes a third-place finish in the 2008 Don Bowers 300-mile race and a second-to-last-place finish in the Knik 200.

Cim Smyth, Big Lake

Smyth

Cim Smyth, 35, was born in Alaska and is the son of Iditarod veterans Bud Smyth and Lolly Medley. His brother, Ramey, is also an Iditarod veteran. Cim says he’s been mushing “since I was big enough to stand on a sled.” He lists his occupation as “dog driver.”

dominately Siberian husky team, with dogs bred from his kennel. He said he is looking forward to renewing old friendships in the villages along the way.

Ray Redington Jr., Wasilla

Kelly Maixner, Big Lake Kelly Maixner, 36, was born and raised in North Dakota. After receiving his dental degree, he came to Alaska for a residence four years ago and decided to stay. He is a pediatric dentist in Wasilla. He began mushing right after he Maixner arrived in Alaska and started thinking about running the Iditarod immediately.

Redington

ily,” he said. After running the Junior Iditarod several times, he took a break from mushing. He began racing again in 2000.

Rohn Buser, Big Lake Rohn Buser, 22, was born and raised in Big Lake. The son of fourtime champion Martin Buser, he has run dogs all his life. He ran the Junior Iditarod four times and won the race in 2007. A year later, at 19, he raced in his first Iditarod.

Bob Chlupach, Willow Bob Chlupach, 63, was born and raised in Mason City, Iowa, completing high school in Mason City and college at Ames, Iowa. He moved to Alaska to take a job as a fisheries biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Chlupach Chlupach became enamored with sled dogs and moved to Southcentral Alaska. By the mid-1970s, he had his own team. He entered his first Iditarod in 1977 and has completed the race nine other times since then. Although his dogs are not all Siberian huskies, Chlupach will be running a pre-

Iditarod 2012

Ray Redington Jr., 36, 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 fam-

Buser

Art Church Jr., Willow

Church

Art Church Jr., 55, was born and raised in Washington. He moved to Alaska in 1975 “for a change,” he says, “and stayed because I liked it.” He began mushing in 1979. In addition to running the Iditarod, he has served as a race judge on the trail.

See MUSHERS, Page 15

February 24, 2012


mushers

Continued from Page 14

Ryan Redington, Wasilla Ryan Redington, 27, was born and raised in the Wasilla area. He said he’s been mushing since “I could hang onto the sled.” He ran two Junior Iditarods and many local mid-distance races as well as the Iditarod. Redington has Redington a long family history in the Iditarod. His grandfather, Joe Redington Sr., was the race’s co-founder and his father, Raymie Redington, is also a veteran of the race. Ryan grew up watching his father and grandfather race in 33 combined Iditarods and knew it was something he wanted to do. He has now completed four Iditarods, with his top finish being 18th. Ryan and his wife, Erin, have a kennel of more than 40 dogs.

Gerald Sousa, Talkeetna Jerry Sousa, 53, was born in California, where he lived until he was 12. He moved to Alaska with his family in 1971 and has been here ever since, graduating from Susitna Valley High School in Talkeetna and later attending the University of AlasSousa ka Anchorage. Sousa began mushing in 2000 and said he became interested in the Iditarod by listening to radio reports on the race. He is a member of the Iditarod Trail Committee.

Cover Photo Perry Solmonson slaps high-fives with spectators in Willow lining the starting chute in 2007. ROBERT DeBERRY/ Frontiersman

February 24, 2012

ROBERT DeBERRY/Frontiersman

Mushing runs deep in the Redington family. From left are Ryan Redington, Julie Redington (Ray Jr.’s wife), Ray Redington, Ray Redington Jr. and Barb Redington.

family

Continued from Page 12

important part of her family’s life. “As a mother of four sons with an accumulated total of 10 Iditarod races and 12 Junior Iditarod races between them, I fully appreciate the opportunities they’ve each had from living our Iditarod lifestyle,” she said. “(That lifestyle) has been wonderful at teaching them important life skills toward becoming capable and confident young men.” This year, for the second time there will be three generations of Seaveys on the trail — Dan, Mitch and Dallas are all in the running. Eleven years ago, Dallas’s older brother Danny completed the three-generation family affair in the race. “It has given me great pleasure to travel the Iditarod Trail with a son and a grandson in 2001,” Dan said. “In view of the 11-year lapse since that adventure, I’m doubly honored to be able to repeat a three-generation run with another grandson.” Dallas said he’s very happy for an opportunity to race with his grandfather, who is running in honor of the Iditarod National Historic Trail’s Centennial. And he is not overlooking his father as serious competition. “My dad is one of my best friends. But come Iditarod time and

Iditarod 2012

ROBERT DeBERRY/Frontiersman

Dallas Seavey slaps five with spectators along the trail at the start of the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race in Willow.

you look at who you need to watch for, he is definitely one of the names that come up,” Dallas said. “I’m not trying to do better than my dad. I’m trying to do better than everyone.”

Page 15


Good Luck Kelly! from all of us at Aesthetic Family Dentistry We wish you and all the mushing teams a safe journey to Nome!

Making Smiles That Last A Lifetime Now offering Pediatric Dentistry Provided by Dr. Kelly Maixner • 357-1628

√ √ √ √

Invisalign √ Crowns & Bridges √ Periodontics Teeth Whitening Family & Cosmetic Dentistry √ Nitrous Oxide & IV Sedation Dentistry Laser Cavity Detection √ Accepting Denali Kid Care

EMERGENCIES WELCOME

OPEN SATURDAYS

NICK METHVEN, DDS • DRUE PICKENS, DDS • KELLY MAIXNER, DMD • SCOTT METHVEN, DDS • WILLIAM IMLACH, DDS

357-6684 Main Number | 357-1628 Oral Surgery & Pediatrics • 1551 West Parks Hwy (across from SBS) • www.akdental.com

Page 16

Iditarod 2012

February 24, 2012


Iditarod 2012  

A special section brought to you by the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you