Bob ChlupachHometown: Willow, Alaska
There are no records for this musher during the 1978 race.
Bob’s dad’s family immigrated to America through Ellis Island in 1859. His mother’s family immigrated pre 1900. Bob’s dad was raised as a farm boy during the great depression. He walked to school every day of his life to the railroad town of Manley, Iowa. His mother was the daughter of a railroad switch tower man at Manley. Her mother was a school teacher. Bob’s father worked his whole life as a railroad brakeman/conductor, while his mother was a telegrapher for Western Union. Bob, 63, was born and raised in Mason City, Iowa, completing high school in Mason City and college at ISU, Ames, Iowa.
During the summers while attending college, Bob worked for Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the last two summers for Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Upon graduation with a Fisheries and Wildlife Biology degree he worked several seasons in southeastern Alaska, before being hired on as a permanent fishery biologist.
Working in Juneau, the sports headlines for the two Anchorage newspapers were not of pro-basketball or pro-football, but instead of sled dog racing events. He became enamored with sled dogs and moved to south-central Alaska and by the mid 70’s had a sled dog team. He was close friends with two noted Siberian husky families, that of Darrel and Angie Reynolds and world renowned Siberian husky breeders Earl and Natalie Norris.
Bob was greatly influenced by Darrel and to this day, his spirit is thought of daily. He entered his first Iditarod and completed it in 1977, subsequently, entering and completing 10 Iditarods over four decades. He ran the 2012 Iditarod in the fifth decade, his first race since 2001.
Living in Willow his post college life, he has one daughter, Melissa, who is a dietician for the Alaska Native Hospital and API. Bob is grandfather to Josephine, Melissa’s daughter.
Since retirement he has worked as a carpenter and professional sports fishing guide.
Though his dog kennel is not all Siberian huskies, he will be running a predominately Siberian husky team, with Siberians bred from within the kennel. He has watched the race exponentially evolve, but despite all the new technologies, he is looking forward to renewing old friendships in the villages along the way. Too, the undeniable beauty and sense of freedom continues to harbor in Bob’s psyche. Through the years Bob has attempted to teach the art, science and psychology of the sled dog world.