Meredith MapesHometown: Palmer, Alaska
Meredith Mapes, 27, was born in Texas but her family moved to Alaska when she was a baby because “her parents didn’t want to raise her in a big city.” The owner and head poop scooper at Fun On The Run Kennel, was raised in Alaska and has been around sled dogs for most of her life. First introduced to sled dogs at age 6 through Girl Scouts, she ran the Willow Winter Carnival 1-dog race, and won by only 1/5 of a second. From then on she was hooked, and competed in a variety of 1-dog races the next season before taking a break from mushing for a few years. At age 12 she was gifted with her first two sled dogs, which came from Mitch Seavey’s kennel. That fall she was gifted with two more dogs from musher Sue Allen, and Fun On The Run Kennel was born. The kennel continued to grow the next year, and she trained her own team for her first big mid-distance sled dog race – the 2008 Junior Iditarod, finishing 14th. Everything changed for Meredith when her dog team was hit by a snowmachine during the Aurora 50/50 in December 2008. Her two main lead dogs were injured, and she was shaken up but uninjured. She competed in the Junior Iditarod finishing 8th that year, but her heart wasn’t really in it anymore. After high school Meredith officially called herself retired from sled dog racing, and started college. She was offered a job working in Seward, Alaska at Seavey’s IdidaRide Sled Dog Tours, and had a blast working with sled dogs again. Within the first week she said she’d be running the Iditarod in just a few years, and blames Danny Seavey for offering her the job and getting her back into dog mushing (and continuing to feed her mushing addiction). She graduated from college in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with an emphasis on Dance. Meredith lists her hobbies as “biking, camping and photography.” She is a member of Mush with P.R.I.D.E. and the Iditarod Trail Committee.