Shaynee TraskaHometown: Gladwin, MI
Growing up in mid-Michigan, I didn’t know about dogsledding until my aunt and uncle met Joe Redington. At nine years old they told me about the Iditarod and I immediately announced to my parents that I would race it some day. My fifth grade speech was that I would be a professional musher in the Iditarod. I dreamed of racing with a team that I had raised and trained myself. At the age of fourteen with the help of Ken and Lori Chezik, I started my very own kennel. When I was nineteen I developed my own breeding program and many of these same dogs are still with me today. I raced in Michigan until moving by myself to Alaska in the spring of 2012 along with my 25 dogs. I have since gotten married to Jeremy who loves the dogs and lifestyle as much as I do. Together we have raised from birth nearly all of the 41 dogs in our kennel. In the summers we guide dogsledding tours on the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. In the winter we also guide and train our race team without the help of handlers. It is a labor of love for us. Through the Lord’s strength, the team and I completed our rookie Iditarod in 2018. I am excited to be back on the trail with my ‘kids’ in 2021 and greatly look forward to the southern route again. I thank the Lord for allowing us to be a part of this life-changing race, the wonderful people of the villages we travel through and their land they share with us, and the opportunity to truly “live” and to draw closer to Him while on this amazing journey across Alaska. God answered a little girl’s prayers and I hope our race brings glory to Him!