Ryan Redington, the 2023 Iditarod champion, has signed up to compete in the 2024 Iditarod. He is also known for his victories in the 2019 and 2021 Kobuk 440, a mid-distance sled dog race held annually in Kotzebue. Before his 2023 Iditarod win, Redington had consistently placed in the top ten in the three previous years.
Last year’s Iditarod was the smallest in the race’s history, with 33 mushers competing and 29 crossing the burled arch in Nome. As of August 2nd, the 2024 race has 28 mushers registered, including nine rookies. Redington is aware of the talented teams competing in the race but remains confident that his dogs can compete against the best.
Redington’s connection to mushing runs deep in his family. His grandfather, Joe Redington Sr., is famously known as “The Father of The Iditarod.” This legacy inspired Ryan to start mushing and follow in his family’s footsteps.
“Watching my family race, my dad and my uncle, my grandpa, I wanted to be like them. I did it as well. As soon as I began mushing, I couldn’t get enough. I always wanted to run more dogs and just be out on the trails as much as I could.”
Ryan Redington currently has 40 adult dogs and 12 puppies, and their performance in primary races determines his Iditarod team. He advises aspiring mushers to learn from professionals and recognizes that each musher has unique bloodlines that contribute to their knowledge.
“It’s a sport that you can make mistakes and still do well. Just go have fun and enjoy mushing.”
Redington starts preparing his team in October, and by the time the Iditarod arrives in March, the dogs have already run 2300-3000 miles. He also participates in races in the lower 48, including the Gunflint Mail Run and the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon in Minnesota.
Photo at top: Ryan Redington moments after winning the 2023 Iditarod