Bethel has two mushers racing in this weekend’s Junior Iditarod. Veteran Joshua and rookie Joan Klejka will race 150 miles to Yentna Station and back. The start will be at Martin Buser’s Happy Trails Kennel outside of Big Lake, instead of the planned start at Knik Lake. With the poor snow and ice conditions, a decision to reroute the race was made about a week ago.
4 veterans and 6 rookies will be at the starting line. The Klejkas are not the only sibling pair in the race: also running are Kevin & Ben Harper from Wasilla.
Representing Nome is Janelle Trowbridge.The 16-year-old junior has been mushing since 2011. She is the daughter of Rolland Trowbridge, who received the red lantern in this year’s Kuskokwim 300. This will be her first Junior Iditarod.
Joshua Klejka finished in 8th place as a rookie in 2013. Both Klejkas raced the Bogus Creek 150 this year. Siblings Jessica and Jeremiah have won the Junior Iditarod. The race starts Saturday morning at 10 a.m.