Rookie to the Iditarod, musher Joanna Jagow prepares for 2021

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 12:57 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The 2021 Iditarod is just around the corner and there are 60 mushers preparing for one of the premiere races in Alaska. One of the 60 is Joanna Jagow, a rookie to the Iditarod.

Jagow represents the Motley Crew Kennel. The name derives from her mother’s love for rock and roll and their motley crew of dogs.

“So my mom helped me with that one,” said Jagow about the name of the kennel. “She’s really into rock and roll and at the time I legitimately had a motley crew, I just had an assortment of dogs. So the name stuck after that."

The Motley Crew Kennel
The Motley Crew Kennel(Aaron Walling/KTVF)

Jagow’s experience ranges from the Yukon Quest 300 where she took second and third, to the Copper Basin 300 where she finished 11th place. Her time with the Alaska state sport of dog mushing goes back to helping her family with the trap lines. Many mushers have their first dog that helped them get to where they are now and Joanna’s was a dog named Tiki.

“It was this 30lbs dog and it was my very first dog,” said Jagow. “It just taught me how much responsibility there is even for one to take care of.”

Despite the COVID-19 global pandemic, Jagow is determined to tackle the Iditarod. Her dad thought she was crazy when she told her family about her intentions to take on the long-distance race.

“My dad was like, you’re crazy just because of everything that’s going on this year but then once I explained it, he was super excited and my mom was super stoked when I told her.” said Jagow.

Dog mushing is a community sport with support coming from all angles. It involves numerous people working together to help get the teams off the ground. Joanna’s support runs deep in the mushing community.

“Dog mushing is definitely not a one man sport at all,” said Jagow on the support she has received over the years. “There is so much support that goes into it between family, friends, I’m overwhelmed at times at how much help and support I’ve gotten over the years especially this year. It’s super incredible how everyone comes together and helps you in lot’s different little ways.”

The 2021 Iditarod is slated to start March 6 in Anchorage, Alaska.

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