Musher Details

1983 Iditarod » Mushers » Joe Runyan

Joe Runyan

Hometown: Cliff, NM

There are no records for this musher during the 1983 race.


Joe Runyan, 57, was born in Oregon. He was raised in Idaho and moved to Alaska in 1969, where he lived for 25 years. He graduated from Oregon State University in 1970 with a degree in zoology. In Alaska, he commercially fished and ran a kennel of sled dogs. During his 25 years in Alaska, he lived either on the Yukon River or on the Tanana River. He began mushing in 1971 and became interested in the Iditarod while trapping on the Yukon and listening the news of the ’73 Race on a portable radio. He won the Yukon Quest in 1985 and then the Iditarod in 1989, becoming the first musher to have won both the long distance races. He says, “But some of my best experiences may have been expeditions on the Yukon River trapping with legendary woodsman Freddie Jordan by dog team.” Joe says that his current occupation is “self-unemployed business ventures.”  “After a fifteen year hiatus from dog mushing, I have been unbelievable lucky. Rachael Scdoris and Timmy Osmar asked me to be a part of their team in 2008. I just could not say ‘no’ to this wonderful opportunity. As many in the mushing community already know, Timmy is recovering from a very serious ankle and leg injury. Therefore, I will be running Timmy’s beautiful Iditarod team and acting as Rachael’s visual interpreter. Rachael and Timmy have dusted me off, got me back on the runners, helped prepare the dog team, organized strategy, and to them I owe a ‘huge thank you.'” He is the father of Zac, 32, Seneca, 28, Zetdi, 21 and Zabeth, 18. He says his hobby is animals of all kinds. He’s had fish farms, mules, sled dogs, homing pigeons, hounds, cattle and bird dogs. “My present business venture is to consume TNT bombing range contaminated plants with special microbe inoculated sheep. So.. new hobby is sheep.