2008 Mushers

Update 2-26-2008: Mushers, one of the entrants who wishes to remain anonymous wanted to let you all know he/she has received over $1,000 in pledges and has more on the way. He/she is working hard to win the prize for the most amount of pledges…he/she is challenging you to beat him/her.

Jessica on the runners1. Jessica Berg-Collman
Hot Dawg Kennels

Grand Marais, MN
Won the awards for the highest dollar amount of pledges and the highest number of pledges
My 1st mushing event ever. I am an 11-year-old and I’m mushing in memory of Barb Walli, my grandma’s best friend who died of breast cancer at age 54 and for my great grandma who survived breast cancer and is 99 years old.

My team consists of Kenai and her three pups; Kobuk, Kodiak and Blue. We got Kenai two years ago from Black Magic Kennels, Mark and Mary Black. Joining my team will be Olive, Kenai’s mom, and Devilfish, Kenai’s sister, of Black Magic Kennels. I adopted Devilfish last year in Mark and Mary’s BL.A.C.Klub (BLack’s Adopt a Canine Klub). Just look for the all white team and that will be me!!!

We have been training hard and having fun getting ready for the event!! (Editor’s note: Jessica has been working hard soliciting pledges to win the award for getting the most!  She will be running on the trail with Mark Black).

Mark, Jessica and Jess's dog Kenai2. Mark Black
Black Magic Kennels
Hovland, MN
Co-winner of the Most Outrageous Pink Outfit Award with Bob “Ranger Bob” Maki
I am running a team to not only raise money for breast cancer research, but I will be running with 11-year-old Jessica to make sure she makes it safely to Trail Center. It is fitting that I run this year as my mom, Diane, was diagonosed in January with the disease. Fortunately they caught it early and her outlook is good. Plus Mary got to do the Gunflint Fun Run and last year’s Mush For a Cure, so this year I get to be on the runners as Mary is too busy organizing the race instead of training for it!

mary_manning3. Mary Manning
Doodledog Kennels
Hovland, MN
I have a kennel of Alaskan huskies in the hills of Hovland.  I have done some racing in years past, but recently have been running for fun and for the occassional BWCAW camping trip.  I am running in honor and in memory of my little sister, Christine, who passed away in 2006 after a long fight against breast cancer.  This will be my second Mush for a Cure, and I’m proud to be a part of the run.

carol_king4. Carol King
Hinkley, MN
This will be my second time running Mush For a Cure.  Had so much fun last year that I had to run it again.  This year I am challenging myself to contact 100 people and ask for a pledge to raise awareness of the impact that Breast Cancer has on so many people.  Many friends and relatives lives have been affected by this disease. There is a real need to find a Cure.  Looking forward to passing on the “DORK” award I received last year for dragging through a puddle……Who will be this year’s winner?????

bob_baker5. Bob Baker
Running a team from Black Magic Kennels
Gunflint Trail, MN
Won the “Best Hug on the Trail” award (and second place in the highest dollar amount and number of pledges)
Race?  I’ve never raced!  I’ve been involved with the start of the Beargrease in the mid 80’s.  I also was a Trail Breaker for both runnings of the Grand Portage Passage.  In the early 90’s I ran dog rides out of Gunflint Lodge for two winters.  Hour,  ½ day and full day trips.

As for now, I am the owner and operator of Gunflint Pines Resort and Campground on Gunflint Lake.  As a avid outdoorsman, this is a chance for me put on a few miles again for a good cause.  Thanks to Black Magic Kennels, it looks like I’ll be able to do this and have a fun day with other mushers and friends raising money for the cure to breast cancer.  Thanks,  Mark and Mary!

chuck_ensign6. Chuck Ensign
Running a team from Bark in the Dark Kennels
Duluth, MN
My first race!!!! Many years of just driving the dog truck, now I get to ride the runners.  I just found out about a high school friend who has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer so I will be running for Deb.

Matt Groth7. Matt Groth
Grand Marais, MN
Won the “First Team to Pull the Hook and get on the Trail” Award
I am a “recreational racer” that enjoys longer races. We are coming because last years Gunflint Run was a blast!



don_deckert8. Don Deckert
Tunda Siberians Kennel

Albertville, MN
Co-winner of the “Traveled The Farthest” Award
I have a small kennel of Siberian Huskies, Tundra Star Siberians, in central Minne”snow”ta (www.tundrastarsiberians.com). I enter a coule of recreational races each season. I have ran in the Jackpine 30 and White Oak Classic rec. race, along with a few 4 and six dog sprint races. I am also a volunteer for Adopt a Husky, Inc. I would like to participate in the Mush For a Cure Fun Run because I think it is a great way to raise funds for a very deserving organization and is also a good way to help present the sport of mushing in a positive image to the public.

jerry_sivets9. Jerry Sivets
Grand Marais, MN
My wife Kay and I have a team of older rescued Siberian Huskys that we do recreational mushing with after several years of competitive skijoring.  Last year we worked the Fun Run as “hams” at a couple of road crossings; this year I’ll give the dogs a chance to have some fun on a new trail with some other teams.  I do think I’ll “cheat” though and only go 17 miles which is closer to the max length of our every-other day runs we’ve been doing this winter.  We may be slow but we’ll get there – I hope!

My sister-in-law, my cousin’s fiancée, one of my wife’s sisters-in law and my wife’s best friend from childhood all have died from breast cancer so we have an immediate awareness of the need to find a cure for this terrible disease.  As a cancer survivor myself, I have bond with those afflicted with any form of the disease and am very interested in contributing to eliminating it in any form it may take.

curt_pic.jpg10. Curt Pianalto
Running a team from Bark in the Dark Kennels
Duluth, MN
After having ridden on a sled a number of times with Chel Ethun, she has finally pushed me to the edge with this one.   As for a mushing bio, well, I don’t have one.  This will be the first time running my own sled in any sort of event.    I’m a little nervous, yet excited as well.  But, I am confident I will have better results than previous trips with Chel, which have resulted in hard falls, fingers bitten, and frostbite on the toes!  (In all those instances, I must say, I still have had a great time on the dog sled!)

I live in Duluth, am married, and have a four year old daughter.   I love dogs and I really wish my two dogs could be part of the team I’ll be running.  On second thought, they’re miniature schnauzers, so that probably wouldn’t go over too well; for a number of reasons.

After living in the Northland for over 15 years, I finally have embraced winter;  I love cross country skiing, Bulldog Hockey, and I am re-learning how to ice-skate.  I know I have embraced winter, because now I actually look forward to snow; as opposed to cursing it in the past.  I guess this dog-sled event ultimately initiates me as a Northlander.

betsy_moss_jorgenson11. Betsy Moss Jorgenson
Jorgenson Kennels
Grand Marais, MN
Our kennel consists of 80 dogs, 22 of which belong to my husband, Odin and I (plus one fat pitbull and a mouthy little border collie/rat-terrier) – and the rest belong to Odin’s dad Arleigh, but we all work together to take care of the all of the dogs and operate “Arleigh Jorgenson’s Sled Dog Adventures”.  As for why I am doing this – well, since Odin and I started dabbling in racing a couple of years ago, I have really enjoyed each event as a handler.  It has been fun getting to know the eclectic community of mushers and working with our dogs in a different context.  I am looking forward to meeting more dog-folks and getting out on the trail with friends and neighbors.  By the time this event occurs, it will be my second run of this sort.  On March 2nd,  I will race in the Wolf Track Classic in Ely.  My hope is to give our yearlings and myself some low key racing experiences. I am happy to raise money for cancer in the process of all of this.  I figure those of us who have gotten by without it can thank our lucky stars. Actually, running my pups for a good cause, with so many neat people and dancing to Rod’n’Reel at Trail Center to top it all off, sounds like a dream to me!  On Monday, it will be back to teaching kindergarten at Grand Portage Elementary.

chris-and-avalanche12. Chris Wall
Avadar Siberians
Albertville, MN
Co-winner of the “Traveled The Farthest” Award
I am a small recreational musher with a team of 6 Dogs (4 of my own, and 2 from a friend)  I have put on about 50-70 miles on the dogs this year and hope to continue to put more on them yet this year.

My wife was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the young age of 27.  She has been cancer free since 1997….11 Years!!!!!  We have participated in the Annual Komen Race for Cure every year since 1997.  So since we both enjoy Mushing we thought that we could do this event and help raise money!!!!!

Thanks for holding this fun and Exciting Event!!!!

13. Tim Chisolm
Bad Moon Rising Kennels

North Branch, MN
Great cause to run for, not that we need a reason to run our dogs! Thank you for putting this race on!

14. Melissa Bloom
Running a team from Sumac Kennel
East Bethel, MN
Won the “Red Lantern” award for the final team to make it to the finish

I just picked up dog sledding this year and haven’t been able to stop yet! I only have one dog that I use for sledding but fortunately I am able to use some of the dogs from Sumac’s Kennel in Big Lake. I heard about the event from and acquaintance and thought it would be a great opportunity to riase some money and have a fun time.

15. Erik Simula
Beaver Dam Creek Kennel
Hovland, MN
Winner of the “DORK” Award for having the handlebar of his sled snap off while going around a sharp corner and not letting go (of the handlebar that is). Erik passed along the award to  volunteer Joe Zellner as Joe went chasing after Erik’s runaway team and made a flying leap to catch the sled and stop the team. Award will be re-named the “Superman DORK” award next year!

16. Gail Branstrom
Kahiltna Kennels
Babbitt, MN
I have raced everything from sprints to the Beargresae 150. I just love to be outdoors and with the dogs. Plus this fun run is for a good cause!

17. Leslie Pfluger
Running a team from Kahiltna Kennels
Babbitt, MN
I am #1 handler bor Gail Branstrom for 10 years.  This will be my first time runing a team in this typeof event. I do alot of Boundary Waters winter camping and fishing.

18. Mike Nelson
Adventurous Christians
Gunflint Trail, MN

eva-kolodji19. Eva Kolodji
Hibbing, MN
I’m a 10th grader at the Hibbing highschool. I have been running dogs for the past six years. Some of the races I’ve been in include The White Oak Classic, Wolf Track Classic and The Apostle Islands sleddog race. I’m racing because it’s a good cause and I have had many close family friends who are breast cancer survivors.

20. Stoffel Reitsma
Sumac Siberians
Big Lake, Minnesota

I am a recreational musher who wants to do this for fun and to help some friends.

21. Meghan Luke
Running a team from Amarok Kennel
Grand Marais, MN
First team to the finish line at Trail Center

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