Name: Ken Chase
Residence: Anvik, Alaska
Occupation: I work for the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Years involved with Iditarod: I’ve been involved with it since day one in 1973, and I’m still involved with it.
Past Iditarod Roles: I ran the race in ’73, the first race. Then I entered the first ten races. And then I served on the first committee for Iditarod Historic Trail when they established the trail as historic. I served as a race judge. I served as a checker, a trail breaker, a pilot. So I played a lot of roles in Iditarod.
Current Location: Settler’s Bay Lodge in Wasilla, Alaska
Date of Photo: March 1, 2022
Temperature: 68 F Indoors
How did you first get involved with the Iditarod?
I first got involved with Iditarod in 1973. And how I got there was through the radio, through a greater broadcast saying that there was going be a race, a dog race from Anchorage to Nome that they were trying to put on. And I just immediately said I’m going. No one else told me about it. I decided myself.
What was your most memorable Iditarod experience?
One of my most memorable Iditarods, I think was in ’76. And that was the third or fourth year running … ’73 … Fourth year running. And the reasons so was because I had a dog named Piper, my leader. And he was just four years old. He was a year old when I first ran him, but fourth year he pulled a whole bunch of us through a trail braking series between Kaltag and Unalakleet. And it was then I think I found out his capabilities. And Joe Redington, Dick Mackey, Ron Aldrich, and a whole bunch of were there. And they all got to see how he operated, and they were just amazed. I’m still asked today, in fact, the guys asking me, mentioning about Piper. He was … that’s probably the most memorable race I had.
What does the 50th running of the Iditarod mean to you?
Knowing this is the 50th running of the Iditarod, I just, I feel still really connected to it, even though I can’t run it. I don’t have any dogs anymore. And I’m to the age I realize I can’t compete. I can compete, but I can’t … you know, I’ll probably be a hindrance so … But it just amazes me, and that’s gratifying, I think, to see the race still going, you know, the dogs still running.
What do you know for sure?:
I’m sure … I know I’m getting older, and I’m going to be gone pretty soon.