Anja Radano, 44, was born and raised in a small village near Munich in Germany. She earned her nursing degree in Germany and went on to work as a nurse there for 10 years. In the summer of 2003, she came to Alaska as a tourist and “fell in love with Alaska.” She returned in 2004 and began her mushing career as a handler for Iditarod veteran Melanie Gould. In 2008, she started her own kennel, training and breeding dogs from a variety of bloodlines. After several years of mid distance racing, she decided to pursue the Iditarod dream and “am excited to be at this point.” Anja went to vet tech school in the United States and is working as a licensed veterinary technician in Talkeetna where she lives with her husband, Peter Radano. She says she enjoys hiking, camping, and other animals, especially horses (grew up with horses), and being with friends.