Definitions

musher

John Baker (musher)

John Baker (born 1960 or 1961, in Kotzebue, Alaska) is self-employed American dog musher, pilot and motivational speaker of Inupiat descent who consistently places in the top 10 during the 1,000+ mi (1,600 km) Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

History

Year Position Time (h:min:s)
1996 22nd 10 days, 23:26:00
1997 11th 9 days, 23:09:36
1998 5th 9 days, 21:43:09
1999 8th 10 days, 10:10:54
2000 22nd 10 days, 05:48:29
2001 6th 10 days, 21:00:30
2002 3rd 9 days, 05:46:30
2003 8th 10 days, 07:33:07
2004 9th 10 days, 00:43:00
2005 6th 9 days, 21:41:00
2006 5th 9 days, 17:37:45

Baker started mushing at age 16. He raced in his first Iditarod in 1996, placing 22nd. While he has never won the Iditarod, by his third race he placed in the top 10 and he sustained that position for six of the next seven years (from the 1998 to the 2005 Iditarods), only dropping to 22nd once again in 2000 due to dog trouble. His best finish was in 2002, when he crossed the finish line in 3rd place in 9 days, 5 hours, 46 minutes, and 30 seconds. In 1998, he won both the Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award and the Regal Alaskan's First Musher to the Yukon Award. He has competed in every race from the 1996 to the 2006 Iditarod.

Baker worked as a pilot and manager of his family's air taxi business. He also visits local schools as a motivational lecturer. Like Ramy Brooks, Baker is one of the few Alaska Native dog sled racers who compete in the modern Iditarod.

Baker lives near his extended family on the coast of the Bering Sea in Kotzebue, Alaska, and has a fish camp/winter cabin 30 mi (50 km) away, across Kobuk Lake. His wife, Iva, is a former Miss Arctic Circle beauty pageant winner. His son Alex has competed in the Junior Iditarod. He also has a daughter, Tahayla.

Iditarod awards Year Criteria
Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award 1998 First to arrive at Cripple
Regal Alaskan's First Musher to the Yukon Award 1998 First to arrive at Anvik

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