Meet The Mushers

    Sean Underwood

    Racing a Husky Homestead team

    Sponsors:

    • The Alaska Collection
    • Alaska Industrial Hardware
    • American Dehydrated Foods (ADF)
    • Howling Dog Alaska
    • Inlet Tower Hotel & Suites
    • Kaladi Brothers Coffee
    • Redpaw
    • Touch N’Seal
    • Usibelli Coal Mine

      Cindy Abbott

      Cindy Abbott, age 57, came to Alaska in 2011 to learn how to run sled dogs. At the time she lived with her husband, Larry, in California and worked teaching Health Science at California State University, Fullerton. She immediately fell in love with the sport, the Alaskan people and culture, but most of all; she fell in love with the world’s most amazing athletes – the dogs! After completing the 2015 Iditarod, Cindy and her husband decided Alaska was where they wanted to be. They bought some land in Willow, built a house a few miles from Vern Halter and Susan Whiton’s Dream a Dream Dog Farm, and are proud owners of several sled dogs. Cindy retired from teaching and is working and racing for Dream a Dream Dog Farm.

      In 2007, Cindy was diagnosed with Wegener’s granulomatosis, a serious and rare disease. She is a very active rare disease awareness advocate for the National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD).

      Racing Experience: Iditarod, Yukon Quest 300, Top of the World 350, Copper Basin 300, Northern Lights 300, and Knik 200.

      For more information, visit her website at www.reachingbeyondtheclouds.com

       

        Gary Young

        D. Gary Young is the Founder and Chairman of the Board for Young Living Essential

        Oils. Turning a passion into a profession is a dream for many. But for Gary, it’s a vibrant

        reality. Over two decades ago, Gary discovered the profound power of essential oils.

        Through Young Living, he is able to share his matchless knowledge with millions around

        the world, supporting their health and transforming their lives. Gary’s unrivaled expertise

        on the therapeutic power of plants has led to the creation of the world’s largest line of

        essential oils and blends.

        Along with the responsibilities of running a growing international company, Gary

        oversees operations on Young Living’s many global farms, where he directs the growth,

        harvest, and distillation processes of the highest quality essential oils in the world. As the

        leading authority on essential oils, he also frequently publishes and speaks on their

        benefits and remarkable properties.

        Gary’s life is an epic, true-life adventure of perseverance, against all odds, achieving the

        impossible. An avid sportsman with a love of the outdoors, Gary grew up in the

        mountains of Idaho. He spent time as a young man working on the Alaskan pipeline and

        logging in the wilds of Canada. Alaska and Canada hold a special place in Gary’s heart.

        He’s always had a dream of becoming a musher, and he’s excited for the dream to

        become a reality this week as he prepares to compete in his first race, the Tustumena 200.

        Sponsors:

        Young Living Essential Oils, UT

        Skyrider Wilderness Ranch, UT

        Life Science Publishing, UT

            Noah Burmeister

                Emily Maxwell

                    David Turner

                      Nicolas Petit

                      Nicolas Petit, 35, says his passion for dogs and sledding started while he was in diapers. He credits his first canine companion with teaching him to walk and jump–starting his love of dogs and ultimately dog mushing. Nick was born in France and grew up in Normandy, till the age of 12, when his mother remarried and moved him and his sister to New Mexico. Nick moved to Alaska in 2000, and adopted his first Husky shortly thereafter. During a visit to Wyoming, he went on his first dogsled trip and immediately got “hooked”. For this he thanks Iditarod veteran Billy Snodgrass for putting him on the runners. Ten years after adopting that beautiful Alaskan husky, he named Ugly, working construction, and dabbling with sled dog tour scene, he decided to pursue competitive dog mushing.

                      In fall 2010, Petit connected with 15-time Iditarod finisher Jim Lanier. Petit’s plan was to volunteer for Lanier, and possibly complete Iditarod qualifying races. However, Lanier’s hip needed replacing, so he asked Petit to run his team for 2011. Petit took on the challenge of qualifying, training and raising funds all in the same year as his rookie Iditarod. Petit not only met the challenge, he exceeded it by finishing in 28th place, first among 13 rookies, garnering him the 2011 Jerry Austin Rookie of the Year Award. Nicolas is running dogs from Raymie Redington’s kennel along with a few of his own. Petit lists his hobby as “snow.”

                        Mitch Seavey

                        Mitch Seavey, 55, was born in Minnesota and moved with his family to Alaska in 1963. He graduated from high school in Seward and wrestled for Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. He began mushing in 1963. Mitch’s dad, Dan, ran the Iditarod in 1973, so he decided he wanted to run the Iditarod someday. After running eleven Iditarods, Mitch won the race in 2004. In 2008, Mitch was the winner of the All Alaska Sweepstakes, held that year as a commemoration of the original All Alaska Sweepstakes, and then he won the Iditarod again in 2013. He says, “Running the Iditarod is a family tradition.” Mitch and Janine are the parents of four boys, three of whom have run the Jr. Iditarod and the Iditarod, Danny, Tyrell and Dallas. The youngest, Conway, is 20 and won the Jr. Iditarod in 2012 and 2014.Mitch says his hobbies are “grandchildren.”

                        Sponsors

                        Young Living Essential Oils, UT
                        Dr. Tim’s Pet Food, MI
                        Icicle Seafoods
                        Inlet Towers
                        Petro Marine Services

                          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 life. Running the Iditarod is my main goal in life and now winning is!!!! It is an interesting challenge that tests me mentally and physically but more so, it is amazing to watch my friends perform with me.” Wade’s says he enjoys trapping, hunting and running.

                           

                          Sponsors:

                          • Alaska Excursions 
                          • Grizzly Aftermath Films, AL 
                          • Davis Constuctors 
                          • Alaska Warm and Cozy 
                          • Millard Trucking, NE

                          Paul Gebhardt

                          Paul, was born and raised on a family farm in central Minnesota. He has raised and taken care of animals his whole life. Paul has been a carpenter & a contractor since he was 18 years old and is currently a general contractor in Kasilof, Alaska. He moved to Alaska from Minnesota in 1989, began mushing in 1992 and ran his first Iditarod in 1996 with dogs he bred up in his kennel. He has been breeding and raising his dogs ever since. He has placed as high as second in the Iditarod twice. He has won numerous mid-distance races including the K-300, Copper Basin 300 and the T-200. He races Iditarod to prove how good his blood lines and kennel are and to enjoy the challenge and excitement of the competition of long distance sled dog racing. Paul has one adult daughter, Kristin, and says he enjoys hunting, trapping and enjoying Alaska.

                          Sponsors:

                          • Janssen Memorial Chapel 
                          • Inlet Painting & Drywall 
                          • The Backyard/Taylor & Amanda Doll 
                          • Bill Petrel 
                          • Stanely Chrysler 
                          • Builder’s Choice 
                          • Steve Tarries, CPA 
                          • Fulton Auto Body 
                          • Block Buster Video
                          • Soldotna Craig Taylor Equipment 
                          • Mickey’s Custom Sewing 
                          • Kenai Vet Clinic 
                          • Gebhardt Construction 
                          • Aspen Hollow Lodging 
                          • Dr. Crosby Dentristy 
                          • R & R Auto 

                            Travis Beals

                            Travis Beals, 23, 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.

                              Frank Habermann

                              Loepekennel

                              Born 1960 in Schwelm, Germany.

                              Currently resides in Kasilof, Alaska but holds German and Australian Citizenships after having lived for long periods in Germany, Scotland and Australia.  Frank is a Doctor

                              “Our kennel is called Loepekennel, which I share with my wife Edda.

                              I started mushing with my wife about 12 years ago while living in Scotland.

                              I have been racing Sprint Races in Australia for several years, but lately focused on Distance Races in Alaska. I have been gaining valuable experience in the Goose Bay 150, Northern Lights 300 and Tustumena 100. I ultimately aim at the 1000 mile races, namely the Iditarod and Yukon Quest.

                              We are a smaller kennel, therefore enabling us to keep a closer bond with our dogs. We consider them as our companions and not just working sled dogs.”

                               

                                  Tim Osmar

                                      Dean Osmar

                                          Edda Jessen

                                          Loepekennel

                                          Edda is sponsored by the Australian mining industry.

                                          She says “My dogs are always happy, hungry and eager to run. Running and racing with them allows me to see the breath taking beauty around me, something a lot of people cannot appreciate anymore. I love spending time with my team, running with them, enthused by their strength, work ethics and their joy to run. That is why I mush.”

                                          Lead dogs names: Viper, Beaver and Anna

                                              Alex Buetow

                                                  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 a plane crash, she took a break from mushing to pursue academics. She holds a B.S. in Meteorology and a M.S. in Geography from Northern Illinois University. She also completed one year of a Ph.D. program at the University of Oklahoma where she also worked at the National Weather Center. In 2010 she left flat Oklahoma for the mountains of Alaska, and for dogs.

                                                  Soon after arriving in Kasilof she met veteran musher Tim Osmar and has been breeding, raising, training and racing dogs with him ever since. In the summer time Tim and Monica fish a commercial set-net site and operate summer dog kart tours. In the winter they take the dogs (and anyone else who dares to join) out for ultimate Alaskan adventures in the back country of the Kenai Peninsula. Since Monica hit the racing circuit three years ago, she is dedicated to use her publicity to help save Alaska’s wild salmon. She is an activist against the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay and opposes any similar, large-scale mining operations that could pollute Alaska’s precious waterways. Monica says her hobbies are “1) dogs, 2) mushing and 3 )finding ways to fund 1 & 2.”

                                                      Emily Thiem

                                                          Anna Berington

                                                          Anna Berington, 31, was born and raised in northern Wisconsin on a small farm. She became interested in dog sledding at an early age when she worked for a neighbor who raced sled dogs. After graduating from high school, Anna attended the University of Wisconsin River Falls and then joined the National Guard during which time she did a lot of traveling. She ended up in California working for a dog sled touring company. After some time there, she decided “giving tourists rides wasn’t enough, so moving to Alaska was an easy choice.” She started distance mushing with Dean Osmar and now works with Scott Janssen. “The best times I have had have been running dogs with my twin sister, Kristy. She taught me to mush, and I love being on the trail with her and my dogs.” She says that when she and Kristy aren’t mushing, they are running and competing in triathlons.”

                                                            Kristin Bacon

                                                            Kristin Bacon, 43, was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and resided in various parts until 1997 when she graduated from the Ohio State University with a degree in Physical Therapy. In early 1999, after a phone interview with Providence Children’s Hospital, Kristin was offered a job in Alaska. Seeking a chance to work in a hospital setting with children, and intrigued by the unknowns Alaska had to offer, Kristin decided to make the move. Not only did the children’s hospital provide an excellent opportunity to grow professionally, Kristin met a mentoring doctor who introduced her to his sled dog team. Kristin began helping at his kennel annually for several weeks while he and his wife traveled to Kauai.

                                                            In 2003, Kristin began volunteering at the Skwentna checkpoint during the Iditarod and began mushing in 2011. Now that she has her own team, she is focused on preparing herself and her dogs to run the Iditarod.

                                                            When she isn’t training for races, Kristin really enjoys sharing the dogs with the community during events like Ikidarod (free dog sled rides for kids with special needs), Aurora Dog Mushing events (Junior and Business person races, vaccination clinics, etc) as well as doing adapted mushing activities with her pediatric clients at Bacon’s acres.

                                                            Kristin also continues to work as a pediatric physical therapist servicing families in Anchorage, the Mat-Su Valley and remote Alaskan school districts. She is the secretary of the Aurora Dog Mushers and in her free time enjoys photography, international travel and gardening.

                                                            Sponsors
                                                            RacerConnect.com, DC/Virginia
                                                            Husky Homestead
                                                            Pat/Jim Updegraff
                                                            Bolt Construction, Inc
                                                            Kidability Phyical Therapy, LLC

                                                            Kent Waite/Gotta Wanna Expeditions
                                                            Copper River Fleece
                                                            Alyeska Therapy Center, Inc
                                                            Brent Howell/Linda Pope
                                                            Alpine Creek Lodge

                                                            • Location: Big Lake, Alaska
                                                            • Website: Link

                                                              Tara Cicatello

                                                                Ray Redington, Jr

                                                                Ray Redington, Jr., 41, was born and raised in Alaska. Dog mushing is a family tradition. He’s a 3rd generation Iditarod musher. His Grandpa is Joe Redington Sr. His grandpa, dad, uncle, and brothers have all competed in the race. Dog mushing is both a sport and a lifestyle the Redington family enjoys. Ray loves to run and race dogs. He grew up around the Iditarod and started competing in 2001. So far, his best finish was in 2013 when he placed 5th.
                                                                Ray met his wife Julia when they were racing in the 1991 Junior Iditarod. They married in 1998 and have two fantastic kids, Ellen and Isaac. Ellen and Isaac help with puppy chores now and also enjoy running dogs.
                                                                The Redingtons live in Knik, Alaska on land bought from Ray’s Grandparents’ estate. Their home was the original food drop site for the first few Iditarod races in the early 70’s. The property has direct access to the historical Iditarod Trail. Ray lists his occupation as dog musher and hobbies as hunting and fishing.

                                                                Sponsors

                                                                Alaska Frontier Constructors
                                                                DSR, OK
                                                                Mary Curtis, NJ
                                                                GBA-Corona, TX
                                                                Alaska Industrial Hardware
                                                                Bill/Carole Stead, CA
                                                                Roy/Cheryl Catalano, CO
                                                                BGB Snaps, SWEDEN
                                                                Mary Curtis, NJ
                                                                Dr. Carson’s Pet Food Supplements

                                                                Denali Vapor, OK

                                                                  Cim Smyth

                                                                  Cim Smyth,  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 and has a brand new baby girl. He enjoys horses, hunting, fishing and gardening.

                                                                  Sponsors

                                                                  • The Bloomin Crew 
                                                                  • Mat-Su Plastic Surgery 
                                                                  • My California Fans 
                                                                  • Helena Spector 
                                                                  • Gene & Lynn Smith 
                                                                  • Dennis & Candace 
                                                                  • Debbie & Tom 
                                                                  • Nick & Dianne
                                                                  • Jill & Carl
                                                                  • Chester Witzack
                                                                  • Mal & Adrienne
                                                                  • Smyth Family
                                                                  • Zurflueh Family
                                                                  • Abe & Jessica
                                                                  • Mariah & Kevin