Aliy Zirkle at the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2019 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. (Zachariah Hughes/Alaska Public Media) - Fairbanks, Alaska
Alaska mushing icon Aliy Zirkle says the 2021 Iditarod will be her last
Alaska mushing icon Aliy Zirkle says she’s retiring from sled-dog racing after this year’s Iditarod.
The Two Rivers musher has competed in the race every year since 2001
, notching three second-place finishes in a row, winning a record six humanitarian awards
and drawing crowds of fans to the event. In 2000, she also became the first woman to win the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest.
Now, Zirkle says, she’s about ready to take it a little easier.
She posted a retirement letter on her kennel’s website
“I don’t want you to think that I’m just up and quitting,” wrote the 51-year-old musher. “My retirement has not been a quick decision.”
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