“My name is Ashley Guernsey, and as many of you know I will be running the Jr. Iditarod this year. I just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone that has helped me by cheering for me, sponsoring me and just making my life better every day. I really appreciate everything that everyone has done for me. The Jr. Iditarod is on the 22nd and 23rd of February. You can follow me live with GPS trackers here www.jriditarod.com ”
Guernsey, 14, is the youngest of the 10 mushers (aged 14-17) competing in this 124-mile race, which is somewhat shortened, re-routed race this year due to lack of snow. She is one of four rookies, and six racers with one or more races already accomplished, including Conway Seavey, Mitch Seavey’s youngest son, also with Seward-area roots.
Former Iditarod musher Rick Tarpey, of Crown Point is Ashley’s mentor and gave her some of his dogs to use. He owns the Soggy Dawg Kennel. Mitch Seavey also donated some dogs for the team, and has helped Ashley out.
Jaffa Construction, Seward Trailblazers, Seward City News, and other local businesses helped her out. Midnight Sun Motors is lending Melissa a car to travel to see her daughter race because her own vehicle broke down and could not be fixed in time. The Wades, Knoteks, Odhners, Nilssons, Lindquists, and many others have also contributed, including Rick Tarpey’s 94-year old mother who lives in Florida, and Erin Knotek’s aunt, who recently passed on.
“It’s been overwelming, and very, very nice. We’re appreciative of everyone,” said her mom, Melissa.