Aliy ZirkleHometown: Two Rivers, Alaska
Aliy Zirkle, 50, was born in New Hampshire and was raised in New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, St. Louis and Pennsylvania. She graduated with a degree in biology from the University of Pennsylvania. When she was in her early 20’s, she moved to a small Alaskan town north of the Arctic Circle. During her first winter, she adopted six huskies, built a dog sled and explored the surrounding wilderness with her dog team. The challenges of this first winter taught her many of the skills that she uses today. This solitary, independent, wilderness lifestyle that Aliy fell in love 26 years ago has now ironically, thrown her into the media spotlight. While she has had many successes in her dog mushing career, she has also had notable disappointments. Aliy finished 2nd place in the Iditarod three times in a row. She is the first, and only, woman to win the Yukon Quest (a 1,000 mile remote mushing adventure race.) Aliy and her husband, Allen Moore, an Iditarod veteran and Yukon Quest winner, own and operate SP Kennel – a premier sled dog kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska. They strive to be the best they can through complete dedication to their canine teammates and to the sport. They are also committed to the Alaskan community that has given them unwavering support and incredible encouragement through the years. Huskies, dog mushing and Iditarod have been the center of my life…not just ‘part of my life’ for over 20 years. However, over the past few years Allen and my lives have evolved. The dogs that were the life forces of our amazing teams have mostly retired or passed away. While we still have their amazing genetics and we still have our skills to train and race, we are admittedly following in the paw prints our our retired dogs. Allen will not be racing in 2021 after racing in 11 Iditarods and 10 Yukon Quests. After the 2021 race, I will retire as will many of the dogs that have brought me some of the greatest joys in my life. Let’s have a fantastic 2021!