Aliy Zirkle Musher Profile
The Iditarod Sled Dog Race features some of the world’s top athletes, dog and human. This a short profile of musher, Aliy Zirkle.
Name: Aliy Zirkle
Birth Date: 1970
Birth Place: New Hampshire
Residence: Two Rivers, Alaska
By The Numbers:
Number of Iditarod Finishes: 17
Best Finish: 2nd (3 times) 2012-2014
Best Time: 8d 13h 6m 41s (2nd place in 2014)
Total Iditarod Earnings: $425,599.11
Impressive Statistic: Three time winner of the Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian award.
Zirkle has competed in either the Yukon Quest or Iditarod in every year since 1998, finishing in every attempt. In 2000 Zirkle became the first woman to win the Yukon Quest, “The World’s Toughest Sled Dog Race.”
Zirkle met fellow musher Allen Moore in 1998 and the two married in 2005. They own and operate Skunk’s Place (SP) Kennel in Two Rivers. Allen won the 2018 Yukon Quest. She has two stepdaughters, Bridgette and Jennifer through Allen.
Zirkle, in the 2016 Iditarod race, was subjected to almost two hours of aggressive threats to her team by a snowmachiner near Nulato. The snowmachiner made attempts to hit her team, but with quick maneuvers she was able to evade physical injury to her, and her team. Jeff King’s team was not as lucky–his lead dog, Nash, was killed.
Zirkle regularly competes in the Copper Basin 300 and finishes in the top 10.
Zirkle has consistently been one of the top Iditarod mushers over the past five years. Placing second three times, third and fifth. The only musher who has had a better stretch is Dallas Seavey. Zirkle is considered the top active female musher.
In the first half the 2017 Iditarod Race, Zirkle’s team has dealt with some “intestinal” issues and has fallen behind the lead pack. There’s still time for her to make a push to the front. However, to overtake Mitch Seavey, Nicolas Petit and others in the lead group, it will be difficult with the fast pace they are setting. Anything can happen, as in the 2015 race when Zirkle and King were both hit by hurricane level winds, forced to seek shelter at the checkpoint of Safety, which allowed Dallas Seavey to take the lead and win.
Post featured image of Aliy Zirkle by Julien Schroder.
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