Meet the 2014 IditaRiders!








Jarryd is from Chicago, Illinois.  
Elliot  Anderson Margaret Murphy AK
Ken Anderson Will Peters Anchorage, AK [Horizon Lines’ Office Clerk; He also won the employee drawing last year (I drew his name both times!), but he let his wife Liz ride instead (with Ray Redington, Jr.), so this was his year]
John Baker Roberta Glenn from Alaska
Travis Beals Nicole Troester Nicole Troester 17 years old -Grand Junction Colorado.   I am very excited and thankful to my Mom to be able to experience the Iditarod.  I can’t wait to meet all the mushers and see their dogs. I am looking forward to new memories and new friends.  I was able to meet Jeff King this past summer and spent three weeks traveling around the state.  It was amazing and I can’t wait to go back. I love the outdoors, in my spare time I exercise and do yoga. I enjoy art, academic competitions, and sports. I am an official Bat Girl for the National Junior College Baseball World Series the past 6 year’s,  I love experiencing new things and traveling, especially with my mom and sister.
Charley Bejna Sarah  Kimball Sarah has been volunteer for several years and is from Michigan.  This is her 3rd Iditarod and last year she went to Nome.  This year, she wanted to do something different.  I’ve watched the IditaRiders and have had good friends on the sleds for the past 8 years.  They have been encourging me to be an IditaRider.  This year, I found out I have breast cancer so I decided to be an IditaRider and bid on a sled as a gift to myself.  When I get back home, I have to undergo surgery.  Going to have a great time and enjoy the race and my ride..  Then, I’m going home to beat cancer.”
Anna Berington Eric Rosenberg When my sister and her family moved to Anchorage 18 years ago, I fell in love with Alaska.  Although I live in Florida and Washington, DC, I spend as much time as I can in Alaska. We even owned a house in Anchorage at one point.  We bring our family and we all enjoy salmon and halibut fishing, hiking, sledding, camping and enjoying nature and wildlife.  This summer we RV’d from Anchorage to Fairbanks and even crossed the Arctic Circle.  We come to the Iditarod’s ceremonial start in Anchorage every year, but it’s always been my dream to be an Iditarider and to see what it’s like in the sled on the trail.  I’m thrilled to attend with my dad, Lenny, this year, who made it through a near-fatal infection and month-long hospital stay last year around this time.  I can’t wait for us to be together for this great event.
Kristy Berington Justin Plante  Justin is from Florida.
Jake Berkowitz Gerald Elkan I am Gerald Elkan, Raleigh, North Carolina, retired Professor of microbiology at North Carolina State University. About ten yers ago, I met Susan Butcher and her dogs which sparked a desire to see the iditarod. This year will be my eigth  Iditarod and seventh as an iditarider.This  will be my third ride with Jake Berkowitz.  I am a member of the Iditarod Trail Committee, an Insider. Iam attaching a phpto of when I rode with Paul Johnson of Unalakleet.
Alex Buetow Lauren Lauren is 10 years old and from Alaska.
Robert Bundtzen Ashley Troester Ashley Troester,  14 years,  OldGrand Junction Colorado. I am really excited and grateful to be able to experience the Iditarod like this.  We met Jeff King this summer while on a trip to Alaska and being around him and his dogs was one of the best parts of the trip.  I am so excited and I can’t wait!!  This will be a once in a lifetime experience.  I love to sing, act, and play piano. I love listening to music during my spare time, especially disney and country music. I am an official Bat Girl for the National Junoir College Baseball World Series the past 4 years, I love experiencing new things when I travel, and I can’t wait to to experience Alaska like this. 
Aaron Burmeister (Dottie) Kisner Dottie says it was an adventure just bidding to win this ride.  She decided to ben an IditaRider after learning about this program on Iditarod Insider.  It was something she knew she just had to do!  Dottie is from West Virginia.
Martin Buser Lana Terry Lana is from California.  She says, “This was on my bucket list!”  
Rick Casillo Terry I’m Terry from Wisconsin. I have been following the Iditarod since 1973. I will be on a father and daughter trip to the 2014 Iditarod. My daughter, Michelle, surprised me with the IditaRide as a retirement gift. We are very excited about this trip and counting the days….
Yvonne Dåbakk Deborah Menendez Deborah is from El Paso, TX.  She is an Iditarod Race Volunteer, coordinting volunteers in Nome each year.
Richie Dielh Emily Brett Emily is a lifelong dog-lover and Alaska-lover from Colorado who is thrilled to be attending her second Iditarod.
John  Dixon Kristine Horst My name is Kristine Horst and I am excited to say this will be my second year riding as an IDITA-RIDER.  I have been employed with Anchorage Chrysler Dodge on and off since 2008. I began as the operator in 2008 and soon moved to an accounts receivable position.  Left for a couple of years to attain my degree and now have recently been promoted to Customer Relations Manager.  It is an honor and a privilege to once again be part of such an amazing event.
Paige Drobny Charlie Dumbaugh Charlie is from Masachussetts and is taking his 13th IditaRider.  He has also ben instrumental in bringing a teacher to Iditarod’s Winter Conference for Educators over the past 13 years.  
Mike Ellis Carol Stedman Why ride.  Just being at the start is exciting, but being a part of it is fantastic.  As an Iditarider you are out on the street as the dogs are unloaded, the sleds prepared, vet checks, and finally the teams start to leave.  Once in the sled and the dogs are on the tow line you have in front of you a pack of barking, jumping, wiggling athletes to keep you amused.  Finally is  your turn to head down the street with the crowds cheering your musher on and finally your at the start line.  The announcement of musher and rider, the count down and off you go.  The boisterous team is now silent as you go out of downtown, through residential areas and into the woods.  Along the 11 miles there are tailgaters, some hand out food as you ride by and small children stand beside the trail to high five the musher. It is a festive time all the way to the airstrip.  Once there you meet up with others that have completed their rides and warm up before getting the bus back to town. That was when I began to realize what a truly wonderful adventure I has been a part of.  For a little while I had been a part of the Alaskan dog sledding world and The Last Great Race. This year am looking forward to the ride with just as mush excitement as before.
Matthew  Failor Mary M Kutney I was born with the genetic disorder, Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). I developed renal failure and was blessed with a live kidney donation from a co-worker in July 2012. I want to use this exposure to promote Life Alaska Donor Services and Donate for Life. I truly feel this kidney will help me fight my present 2nd battle against breast cancer. This is a ride I will always remember and I hope I make it an opportunity to show everyone who see the excitement on my face that an organ donation is a gift that will always keep on giving.
Linwood Fiedler Ambs  
Marcelle Fressineau Monica Lundry Monica is from California.
Cindy Gallea SARA Valentine Sara is from California where she is a reading specialist.  Sara seeks adventure and travel.  The Iditarod has been on her wish list for a long time.  Being an IditaRider is a dream come true.
Hans Gatt Lenny Rosenberg I’ve seen some pretty incredible things in my life, but I’ve never had the chance to ride in a dogsled with an Iditarod musher.  Last year around this time I went to the hospital for a routine procedure and ended up on life support due to an undiagnosed infection.  I spent a month in the hospital and took a lot of flack from my family about being unconscious during St. Patrick’s Day.  But things are back to normal now, and there’s no looking back.  This summer I went to Sweden, Germany and Russia, and this fall we spent a few weeks out West visiting all the great National parks.  My wife and I are looking forward to making the trip from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida with my son, Eric (also an Iditarider), and his family.  We’ll be together with my daughter and her family, who’ve lived in Anchorage for 18 years.  All five of my grandkids will be cheering me on.
Paul  Gebhardt Susan Arndt Susan is from Sarasota, Florida.  Susan is  a retired biology teachr who likes to travel and is back for her 3rd IditaRider experience.  She says it is both exhilarating and peaceful and truly magical.
Gus Guenther Jay Owen “Jay a Owen is a Captain on the MD-11 for FedEx Express based in Anchorage. He lives with his wife, Teresa Blume, in Wasilla, AK. He was formerly a C-130 Hercules pilot for the USAF and the Alaska Air National Guard. He has been a ardent Iditarod fan since arriving in Alaska in 1995. He and his wife will be making their fourth trip to Nome this year to see the race finale–something he encourages all Iditarod fans to do at least once.”
Ellen Halverson Holly Kincaid I have lived in Indiana my entire life but have been fascinated by Alaska, Mt. Everest, and the Appalachian Trial for years now.  As the term “bucket list” has become popular recently, I realized that the all the top items on my list related to Alaska and, in particular, the Iditarod.  My husband and I sent our one-and-only child off to college in the fall and I realized that I could begin to tackle some of these bucket list items.  Number one on the list was attending the Iditarod and being an Iditarider.  Most of my friends think I have pretty much lost my mind but are so happy for me since they know the importance of this since I have been talking about it for ages.  I lost my mother to cancer about a year and a half ago and my father, who was suffering from dementia at the time, has since had a major stroke and other health issues which have drastically altered his life.  As I have watched him and cared for him on this journey of declining health, it really brought home the point that you can’t always wait for tomorrow to do what your heart desires.  Sometimes tomorrow might never come.  For a middle-aged, suburban, mid-western, stay-at-home mom, this event is so far from my “normal” that it fascinates me.  I am in total awe of the mushers who push themselves to do what I can’t even imagine.  I have so much respect for these men and women and feel privileged to be able to ride a sled for even a brief period of time. 
Karin Hendrickson Matthew Dimock Matt is an art educator from Masachussetts.
Scott Janssen Liz Rosenacker This was a surprise gift.  Liz’s husband bid on this ride and he won!  Surprise!
Ralph  Johannessen Frances Lockwood Frances is from Marion Indiana. “Being an Idita Rider is an experience I always look forward   to.  This is an opportunity to be a part of the Last Great Race.  I have ridden in 8 ceremonial starts.  Many wonderful mushers and families have become life long friends.  I’ve ridden with Dr. Terry Adkins, Dan Karter, Ed Iten, Melissa Owens, Johns Stewart, Dr. James Bardoner, Mike Santos, and now Ralph Johannesen.  Ever ride is excitning but unique.  The warm greetings from the fans for the musher are shared during the entire route of the Saturday event.  The ability to donate to the Iditarod Trail Committee collections of monies for mushers is a special opportunity.  The beauty of Alaska while riding in the sled behind the teams of dogs is a must – have experience.  Thans for this great ride!  many of the rider scome year after year and these individuals have also become friends and a part of the Iditarod exptended family.  I always feel at home when coming to Anchorage for the Iditarod.
DeeDee Jonrowe Beverly Nelms Beverly is a nurse from Ft. Worth, Texas.  She’s been a regular rider in DeeDee’s sled for a number of years.
Tommy Pedersen Jordbrudal Heidi Wingert My life in a nutshell. I am 56- divorced- live in Ohio. When the husband ended the marriage I went out bought a Harley Sportster–went tandem skydiving–went ziplining. I am a Flight Attendant in the International Division of USAirways based in Philadelphia. Four years ago we started seasonal flying to Anchorage. I fell in love with the state. For the last three years I go up for the Fur Rondy and both starts of the Iditarod. In the fall I come up and drive and explore the Interior. The last two summers I have been lucky enough to have a working vacation at a secluded lodge on Kodiak Island. I volunteer at the local Humane Society where I walk and run the dogs and receive unconditional love. I have tried twice without success to be an Iditarider. This is My Year!!! I am so excited I can hardly sleep at night!!
Dan Kaduce Bill Harder  Bill is from Washington, DC
Peter Kaiser Conner Conner is 9 years old and from Alaska  having recently moved here from Washington.  He feels very lucky to get this ride.
Katherine Keith Denton Jacobs  Denton is from Chicago, Illinois.  He is a software developer.
Jeff King Charlotte Cassin I have lived in South Texas all my life. I come from an old ranching family, although I am the hobby rancher of the bunch. I’m also my only hired help most of the time. I am a retired teacher after 37 years in the classroom. During the weeks of the Iditarod, I would teach The Call of the Wild to my class. It was great to instill knowledge of, and interest in, the Iditarod with the students. I have had Dalmatians for 45 years, and raised them for 25. I have also helped with rescue dogs and fostering. Currently, I have 3 rescues and 2 Dals. I spent the summer of 2006 in Alaska and was fortunate enough to visit the Seavey kennels, as well as others. This is a long term interest of mine, and I am thrilled to expand my horizons this year as an Iditarider. My 3 grandchildren, my Greatkids, as I call them, are most dismayed I’m taking this trip alone. However, I do have plans to get them to Alaska as soon as I can.
Jim Lanier Judy Carstens Judy is from Kodiak, Alaska.  She has folloed the race for 15 plus years.  She was at the finish line in Nome in 2001.  “What a wonderful experinece, I have wanted to experience the beginning since then. I have been a bidder for years, always for Jim Lanier, and always out bid.  This year, I chose to bid until I won.  I am now ready to experience the ride with Jim and his team.
Joar Leifseth Ulsom Ingrid O’Connor Ingrid wond this ride in a fundraising raffle for the Ski for Light Organization.
Sonny Lindner Joe Rickard  Joe is from Evenston, Il.  He is looking forward to a fun ride!
Jason Mackey Norma  DeVries  Norma is riding for the thrill of a lifetime and to indulge her love of everytyhing Alaska!
Kelly Maixner Beth Shepard Beth owns 3 Girls Pretty Pink Boutique.  This was on her bucket list and says it’s the best money spent ever!
Wade Marrs Blynne Froke Blynne is a retired educator from California.  She was the 2012 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail.
Newton Marshall Charles Reed He is a soldier, and currently in training at Ft Wainwright.
Allen Moore Brent Miller Anchorage, AK [Unit Sales Manager, PepsiCo]
Hugh Neff Lee Anne Rioux My name is Lee Anne. I am riding with Hugh Neff this year. I have been a fan of the Iditarod for over 13 years. I was first introduced to it when I began teaching in my current district as it was part of the third grade curriculum. Now as a reading specialist I have my students participate in an Iditaread Challenge every year. This will be my second trip to Alaska as I also visited in 2010. I am looking forward to the Teacher Conference, my ceremonial ride with Hugh and seeing all the real stars of the Iditarod…..the dogs!
Lisbet Norris Edna Mach Edna received this ride as a gift from her daughter and son-in-law.  
Curt Perano Seth Klein  Seth is from florida and is in Bond Financial Product Sales.
Nick Petit Donna Soracco Registered Nurse.  Since moving to Alaska 10 years ago, the Iditarod and dogs hasve become  a wonderful addiction.  This ride is a ‘bucket list gift’ from a best friend.
Mats Pettersson Nancy Guerrieri My name is Nancy Guerrieri ,currently a resident of Greenville, SC. I have always had a great interest in the Iditarod for any years . While flying as a Flight Attendant , I was a “dog nanny” to two beautiful huskies! I have previously attended five Iditarod , and have always yearned to be on a sled and whisked out of Anchorage. This year my dream came true, as I am the fortunate one who will be on the sled of Mats Pettersson for the Iditarod of 2014!
Michelle Phillips Susan Kelley Susan and her husband Richard are race volunteers.  This is her 3rd IditaRide with Michelle.  “It’s an adventure and a lot of fun.  I love seeing all the people along the 11 mile ride.”
Karen Ramstead LaRita Skipper Arkansas and work as a nurse.  I live with a three year old rescued mutt and a three month old puppy, also a mutt.  
Ray Redington, Jr. Barri Rind Barri Rind, Mercer Island, WA [Special Olympics Washington Board Member and Owner of Barri Rind Consulting]
Jessie Royer Barbara Barrett Barbara is from Arizona.
Mike Santos Matthew Hauler Hello IditaRiders, my name is Matthew Hauler, and I am honored to be riding in style on March 1st for the 42nd Iditarod.  I currently reside in the Washington, DC area and will be attending my first Iditarod with my father, Martin Hauler, who graciously made this ride possible .  To me, the Iditarod represents a link to the great tradition of the people of Alaska while testing humans and canines in extreme conditions.  This is the first in what I hope will be many Iditarod’s as a spectator.
Justin Savidis Larry Donoso Larry is from Pennsylvania  
Nathan Schroeder Iditarod Teacher on the Trail Jen Reiter from Maryland Jen is the 2014 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail.  She is from Baltimore, Maryland.  During the race, Jen will be sharing her observations as she travels from checkpont to checkpoint along the trail on Iditarod’s Education Portal.
Dallas Seavey Savannah Dowd My name is Savannah Dowd.  I am 10 years old and in 4th grade. I love dogs. I have two dogs which I want to train to pull a sled. I love watching “Ultimate Survival Alaska” or anything with “Alaska” in the title. I am riding in Dallas Seavey’s sled and I plan on running in the Iditarod when I am older. I am very excited to be an Iditarider.
Mitch Seavey John Radtke  John is from Pompano Beach, Florida.  He is the CEO fro Incapital.
Danny Seavey Joe Vanegas My name is Jose Vanegas, I am 67 years old originally from Arizona. I have been living in the San Francisco Bay area for the last 28 years.  As far back as I can remember my dream has always been to go to Alaska. That was made possible by my nephew and his wife Larry and Lori Zirkel. I have been very fortunate to have been to Alaska several times in the last 5 years and each time it’s as if it’s my first time.  I must admit I have not been there in the winter time so it will be a new experience to me. I never would have dreamed that I would be riding on a dog sled during the Iditarod race. It’s a dream come true. And then again its because of my Nephew and his wife that this is possible. I am counting the days and I think I have told every one I know that I will be riding on the dog sled!
Lev Shvarts Alina C Lundry  
Cim  Smyth Rachel Giannulis Chugiak, AK [Wife of Greg Giannulis (Owner), Mike’s Meats; Rachel is co-owner of Mike’s Meats]
Ramey Smyth To be shared later  
Robert Sorlie Nancy Livingston Looking forward to my 14th IditaRide March 1 with tremendous anticipation!!!!!  First ride was in 2001 when I began the San Diego State University/Imperial Valley Campus Alaska Experience Program for our Teacher Education Interns.  From 2001 to 2008 (when I retired), the Iditarod Education Department provided academically rigorous professional development for 26 Teacher Interns enrolled in the university multiple subject and single subject credentialing program.  So, I am still “riding,” and my husband and I  now have a vacation house in Homer, AK…which makes coming to the Summer Picnic a shorter trip than from San Diego!  .  It’s been a thrill and privilege to have ridden with such legendary Alaskans as Rick Swenson and Mike Williams, and everyone of Norway’s  Viking mushers since 2003…..Heia Norge 2014 with Robert Sorlie again!   You will have memories of sound of the dogs barking, paws padding on the trail, panting and even slurping some mouthfuls of snow; of the smell of hot dogs, muffins,  and cookies prepared by spectators along the Trail; and of the picturesque beauty of the forest outside of Anchorage….right now, most of all, I wish us snow for the Trail!  On By!
Jan Steves Nicolina Johnson Jan purchased this experience for a very special person in Jan’s life, her daughter, Nicolina Johnson, a 2000 graduate of Edmonds-Woodway High. Nicolina  flew in from Vienna where she has been working on an art project.  “It will be so incredible to share with my daughter my Iditarod,” Steves said. “Having her in my sled bag traveling down the trail together will be an experience and a memory of a lifetime for me.  “My daughter is my inspiration. She is truly following her dream.  She is my inspiration.”  Johnson says, “My mother always encouraged me to follow my dreams.  Now, in her 50s, she is following hers.  “She is an inspiration and a shining example of how it is never too late to pursue your passion.”
Christian Turner Michael Ciambor This was a good excuse to visit my brother and his family in Junea, Alasa.
Abbie West Jan Landt Jan Landt is a wife, mother (two adult children) and grandmother (one grandson).  She is the Executive Assistant at The Child’s Primary School , a private, independent K-8 school in San Diego, California.  Jan has long been interested in Alaska and enjoys reading about the state’s history and the people who live there.  She became an Iditarod “junkie” (her daughter’s description) after reading Gary Paulsen’s Winterdance, Libby Riddles’ Race Across Alaska, and the chapter in Peter Jenkins’ Looking for Alaska about Jeff King and his kennel the same year Jeff won his 4th Iditarod.  Jan enjoys baking, crossword and soduko puzzles.  At home watching TV or while traveling, Jan almost always has a crochet project underway – usually afghans for Project Linus.  Why be an Iditarider?  I have visited the kennels of Melissa Owens, Dallas Seavey and Jeff King and five years ago my daughter and I watched the sprint races at Fur Rondy.  I’ve watched the ceremonial start and restart as an Iditarod Insider for several years and it just looked like it would be something fun to do – sort of a “bucket list” adventure. 
Mike Williams, Jr. Diane Pick Diane thought having an 11 mile IditaRide sounded like fun!  She is from Michigan.  She is a retired university professor.
Monica Zappa Nathanial Richards 12 year old, military family, plays trumpet, loves hockey, loves ice skating.
Aliy Zirkle Emily Thomas Anchorage, AK [Daughter of Rick (President) & Liz Thomas, DiTomaso; Emily just returned from college in the Lower 48—Columbia College, Chicago, IL]
Conway  Seavey Charolotte Simpson Charolotte is the granddaughter of the late Deby Trosper, this year’s Honorary Musher.