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.”
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Lance Mackey, was born and raised in Alaska. He says he’s been racing since before birth, from sprint to distance. He is a four-time back to back Iditarod champion, and a four-time Yukon Quest champion. He’s also run the Kusko 300, the Kobuk 440, the Wyoming Stage Stop Race, the Fur Rondy, the All Alaska Sweepstakes and lots of other races. Lance says, “I am too young to retire. I’m not passionate about any other sport. I grew up in this sport. Iditarod is in my genetics. I think the team I have now is better than any of my prior teams. All are now four, and even though I’m beat up, my team needs me to show the world and my competition – THEY ARE THE BEST! So I’m back to finish what should have happened last year, #5!” He says he is still in the “school of hard knocks.” Lance’s hobby is asphalt and dirt car racing. He is the father of Alanah, Amanda and Brittney, and Atigun.
Anna is happy to be coming back to the T200. Racing for Seeing Double Sled Dog Racing. Anna and her twin sister Kristy, who now reside in Knik, started raising and training dogs in Kasilof, so it always feels like coming home. Anna loves dogs and getting out to explore. Her team includes some T200 veterans like Rooster and Hale also some eager pups like Colt and Ruby. She’d like to thank Polar Asset Management, Northern Edge Physical therapy, GAB Corona, AK Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, Halliburton, Dunkirk, ECR international, 10th & M Seafoods, Boiler Mag, Janssen Funeral Homes, Seafur Sewing, Kat Berington and friends and family.
Martine is a Yukon musher, she has been to the Tustumena 200 twice as a handler and says it’s a real pleasure to come back as a musher to see this wonderful landscape again.
Sarah Stokey moved to Alaska in 2010 to pursue her dream of running sled dogs. She competed in the 2012 Tustumena 200 as her first Iditarod qualifier and ran the Iditarod in 2016. Sarah spends her summers in Seward, Alaska where she and her partner Travis run Seward Helicopter Tours and Turning Heads Kennel. Sarah is excited to be returning to the 2018 Tustumena 200 and is grateful for all the support she’s received from friends and family. She gives a big “Thank you” to all the hard-working volunteers who are working to put on the Tustumena 200.
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.
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.
Michi Konno, 56, was born and raised in Japan. He started mushing about 25 years ago moved to Alaska in 1999 to mush dogs here. “When I raced sprint dogs, I started with Joee Redington, Jr. I leased a team from him and finished in first place in the 1998 North American in Fairbanks. At one time I had 70 sprint dogs in my kennel.” Michi retired from sprint mushing and sold his dogs. Then he focused on his work as a tour guide and spent his springs and summers hiking and camping in the national parks in Montana, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. He explains, “Running Iditarod has always been in my mind. Joe Redington, Sr. told me once that I ‘must run the Iditarod.’” He has one adult daughter, Haluna. Michi’s hobbies and interests include hiking, fishing and camping.
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.”
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.
Dave is from Oregon currently living in Fairbanks, we is a software engineer designing veterinary programs but spends many free hours with his dogs, training them for both races and recreation. Usually a short-distance speed racer, Turner is learning patience and endurance for the mid-distance races. He’s known not only for speed on the trail, but also a well-maintained and trained team of dogs. He came in 3rd in the 2017 T200.
Travis grew up on the Kenai Peninsula in the town of Seward. Travis is excited to be competing in his 3rd Tustumena 200 as he has been involved with the race since his junior mushing days. The caribou hills have always been one of his most favorite places to mush and he is excited to be returning to his routes. The T200 is the first race for Travis this season and he’s looking forward to sharing the trails with some of his favorite Kenai Peninsula mushers. He sends a huge thank you to all those who have helped put on the 2018 race. During the summer, Travis operates dog sled tours out of Seward with his businesses Seward Helicopter Tours and Turning Heads Kennel.
Robert, son of Raymie Redington, grandson of Joe Redington Sr. grew up in Knik, AK. Now trains and run an Iditarod Racing Team with girlfriend Jae March in Willow, AK. In the summer Robert gives sled dog rides to people from around the world at Alaska X Sled Dog Discovery & Musher’s Camp.
In the summer of 2017 Robert got the chance to show off his dogs and give a ride to Jack & Ozzy Osbourne. Robert would like to thank his Sponsors and all of his support to make the 2017-2018 racing season possible.
Robert says “The feeling I get from dog mushing is like having butterflies in the stomach. It’s hard to explain”
His main sponsors are Barb and Raymie Redington, Big Dan’s and Alaska Excursions
Black Spruce Dog Sledding
Jeff got his first look at long distance mushing at age 6, when he saw the Kobuk 440 come through Noorvik, AK. By age 13 he was living in Wasilla, AK and started mushing with Frank and Claudia Sihler. After the Junior Iditarod and several other mid-distance races, Jeff ran Iditarod in 2008. Last year he and his wife, KattiJo, opened Black Spruce Dog Sledding in Fairbanks, Alaska, where they offer mushing tours, trips and lessons to visitors from around the world. More information about Jeff and Black Spruce Dog Sledding can be found at www.blacksprucedogsledding.com and on facebook. This season Jeff would like to thank his loving family, specifically his mother, Gretchen, and his wife, KattiJo, as well as Donna Hunsbedt, his original mentors Frank and Claudia Sihler, and all of the visitors to Black Spruce Dog Sledding for their endless support.