780 AM | 96.1 FM 


(907) 443-5221

First Double Amputee Finishes 2,600 Mile Iron Dog Snowmachine Race

In a historic feat, brothers Joseph and Israel Hale are the first-ever snowmachine team with a disability to finish the 2,600-mile Iron Dog race in the pro-class.

Although the team was last at the finish line, they were the first to the Nome halfway checkpoint. “We were coming into Nome, and I hadn’t done a lot of praying that we could win or anything like that, but I was like, ‘Lord, keep these snow machines running; we’d really like to be first into Nome today.’ And he answered my prayer by 18 seconds, so you can’t beat that,” Joseph Hale told listeners after arriving in Nome.

Joseph’s younger brother, Israel Hale, was in his early twenties when he was severely injured. While attempting to repair a collapsed trailer on the side of the road, he was hit by a car traveling at 50 mph. Hale survived, but without his legs.

While recovering and regaining his strength he set his sight on snowmachine racing, despite the challenges of riding as a double amputee.

The brothers’ first race was in 2020, when they participated in the recreational class as “warm-up” for the professional class race in 2021. Ahead of the 2021 Iron Dog, Israel Hale was recorded saying “I know it won’t be easy, so much of my life hasn’t been. The only difference is that this time, it is a challenge I’m choosing for myself.”

When asked why they race, Israel said they want to “inspire people to push forward in life despite issues of disability or despite mental capacity, and just do something that’s never been done. For both of us, it was just to do something that most people think is impossible or we kind of even thought might be impossible ourselves.”

The brothers concluded the interview with a special message to Western Alaska: “Don’t give up spirit, even when life is hard, because life comes at us from all different angles and some days it’s really hard. Out on the race, the trail is really hard. People have no idea the challenge. If you put your mind and heart to it and it’s what you want to do, you can make yourself do it. It’s not always going to be easy, but easy isn’t always good. Not just the race, but anything in life – whether it’s work, or family, or anything.”

Image at top: Brothers Israel and Joseph arrive in Nome after traveling more than 1,000 miles on snowmachine.

Share this story


Recent Posts

A landscape of an Alaska village in late evening.

Boulder Creek Claim Owner Speaks Out on Prospect of Uranium Mine

Panther Minerals Inc.’s June exploration program intends to more accurately assess the amount of uranium at the Boulder Creek property 30 miles north of Elim. That’s according to David Hedderly-Smith, who owns federal mining claims for the property through his company Tubutulik Mining Company LLC. In addition to signing a

Read More »

Research Consortium Releases Findings From April Visit to Nome

A comprehensive summary of citizens’ concerns and comments regarding upcoming changes in Nome was released last week by the Nome Coordinated Research Consortium (NCRC). The group hosted two community workshops in April to gather community input on infrastructure, economics, and climate change relating to the Nome port expansion project, mining,

Read More »

Shorefast Ice Breaks Free From Nome, First Barge Expected June 2

Shorefast ice has finally released its grip on the shoreline of Nome. The annual breakup event is a big moment for the community that effects local fishing, commerce, and regional wildlife patterns. Ice clearing from the Nome Harbor opens the opportunity for barges loaded with cargo to arrive. City of

Read More »



Work for Us:




(907) 443-5221 


(907) 868-1200 

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.