Jeff King – One of Alaska’s Greats
Name: Jeff King
Birth Date: February 6, 1956
Birth Place: North Fork, CA
Residence: Denali Park, Alaska
By the numbers
Number of Iditarod Finishes: 24 finishes out of 26 attempts
Best Finish: 1st (4 times) 1993, 1996, 1998, 2006
Best Time: 9d 0h 0m 46s
Total Iditarod Earnings: $921,244.78
Impressive Statistic: Jeff has placed in the top three of the Iditarod 13 times
Known as the “Winningest Musher in the World” Jeff has won the 1,000+ mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race four times and has placed first in over a dozen other Alaska sled dog races, including the Copper Basin 300, Kuskokwim 300, Tustumena 200, and the Yukon Quest. According to Jeff King’s website, huskyhomestead.com, in his mushing career, Jeff has logged over 150,000 miles on the trail. To put that distance in perspective, Jeff has been around the earth six times on a dogsled.
“Where’s Jeff and Aliy?” These were the first words out of Dallas Seavey’s mouth as he crossed the finish line in the 2014 Iditarod race. Jeff was on pace to set a new course record and had a comfortable lead with only 75 miles to go. Then a storm blew in and the man who was soon to become the oldest winner of the Iditarod, was pushed into a pile of driftwood and needed help. Aliy Zirkle took the lead, but soon sought shelter from the storm in the checkpoint of Safety. Dallas gained the lead unaware of the situation for the two mushers ahead of him, and won by 2 minutes.
Had the storm not blown in during the 2014 race, Jeff would have become the second musher ever to win 5 Iditarod races. As it stands, Rick Swenson is the only musher who can claim that title.
Jeff authored the book “Cold Hands, Warm Heart: Alaskan Adventures of an Iditarod Champion” Jeff is considered an innovator on the trail because of the many improvements he has made to his sled. For example, he built in hand warmers that heat up to 200 F, and made a seat belt—a feature added after the experience of dozing on the trail and falling off his sled.
Jeff was inducted to the Iditarod Hall of Fame in 1999 and has been featured on race coverage by many of the world’s top media outlets including CNN, Discovery Channel, ESPN and more.