Name: Lance Scanlon
Residence: Wasilla, Alaska
Years involved with Iditarod: 5
Iditarod Role: Part of the canine urine collection, Junior Iditarod and other races as well, and dog handling and other things.
Current Location: Willow Community Center
Date of Photo: March 5, 2023
Temperature: -7 degrees
What, who or how and when did you first get involved with the Iditarod?
As soon as we came to the state … We have Huskies, Seppala Siberian Huskies, so we were enthusiasts to start with and we’re trying to get our feet wet in the community being involvement. We now have united with Connect Iditarod Trailblazers. We live on the Iditarod Trail. We reached out the very first year and I think we did dog handling the first year. And then as the years progressed, we went into urine analysis and dog handling, and wherever they want to place us. So it’s a privilege to be part of this. It’s even more of a blessing to be doing it with my wife, and we’re hoping to keep going.
What is your Why? Why are you here TODAY and involved with the Iditarod?
Well, just being in the great state of Alaska, the territory of Alaska, let me say that again. And being invested in the community, having a full homestead on the top of Nine Mile Hill is an amazing gift from God itself. The animals are amazing, the community itself, working with Redingtons and being involved in the last four years with other mushes and great families like Mackeys and others, and the people involved with everything, it is a family in itself. And just being outside. I’m an outdoors person. We’re from the state of Maine, so there’s a lot of similarities in environment and temperatures, and just being outside, it’s a blessing anyways to be in God’s creation. There’s no place like Alaska anywhere on this earth, so we’re thankful for it.
Tell me about just one of your most memorable Iditarod experiences:
Well, for me, to sit with the great pioneers of the sport. I’ve sat with Raymie Redington and talked about, not necessarily the old past but the old ways. And Dick Mackey and sharing some of the great history of the sport and being accepted and welcomed as the family of mushing goes. For me, there’s a lot of wisdom in these men, not just as third and fourth generations and families go in the sport, but I’m kind of an old school individual, even though I’m very young, and some of the history that they’ve pointed out to me and to help us with our photography and kennel and other things, our YouTube channel and other stuff like that, has been a blessing for us. But to see the simple ways, I guess maybe how this sport has gone from and evolved too, and to be accepted into that, brought into that, and to be plugged into that, there’s a lot to be thankful for and a lot that does stand out. But when I’m talking to the pioneers of the sport, like those two I just mentioned, it’s pretty special to me. And Ray and Barb and all those guys, yeah, when we first got here. Can’t say enough about the Redington family, anyways. I mean, even the Mackeys. I mean, there were others. There’s countless others. Even the people here with the volunteers today, even first timers, I mean, it’s all recognition of the animal, the dog itself and, of course, when we look at the history, whether it’s Leonhard Seppala and his group running to Nome in ’25 with the serum, or we talk about Togo or even Disney’s Balto or otherwise, and the dogs, I mean, it is about the dogs. It’s also about keeping this going for a number of reasons, the dog, the purpose of community involvement, tradition. I mean, cultures is big in this territory. We’ve got indigenous, we’ve got ethnicity abroad in this territory, but when it comes right down to it, everybody that is involved, it’s for a common ground, and we come to a common place when we celebrate this sport.
What in life do you know for sure?
Jesus Christ is Lord.