Joar Leifseth Ulsom

Bib Number: 33

Hometown: Mo i Rana, NORWAY





Joar Leifseth Ulsom (31) holds the record as the fastest rookie to have ever run the Iditarod, and is one of only two mushers to place top-7 five times in as many Iditarod starts.

The 2013 Iditarod Rookie of the Year is from Mo I Rana in Norway by the Arctic Circle. Joar traveled with his dogs from Norway to Alaska where they currently reside since fall of 2011. He works full-time with his small kennel of dogs and Russian team mates for the GoNorth! Adventure Learning non-profit as part of Team Racing Beringia.

Racing Beringia is an online education program for students in K-12 classrooms around the world to explore the region of Beringia spanning from the Yukon in Canada, across Alaska to Chukotka, Russia (

Joar and his team have raced throughout Beringia starting with the Yukon Quest in 2012. Setting a new time record for the Nadezhda Hope race in Chukotka (Russia), Joar became the first non-native winner of the “toughest race in Eurasia” in 20 years. He is now a 2-time Nadezhda Hope champion, with a second victory in 2014. Joar and his team also placed 1st in 2012 Chukotka Sprint Championship.

Back in Norway Joar started out as a kid by borrowing his neighbors two house dogs to pull him around on skis. Watching Iditarod movies is what fueled his dreams growing up. In 2007 Joar started mushing and building up his own team. He received a degree from an agricultural college in Norway and worked as a cowboy while he ran the great races of Scandinavia before coming to Alaska. With this sixth Iditarod, the run for Racing Beringia continues in 2018.

Joar is a member of Rana Trekk-og Brukshundklubb and Go North! Adventure Learning. He enjoys hunting, fishing, camping and “the North.”

Nicolas Petit

Bib Number: 46

Hometown: Girdwood, Alaska





Nicolas Petit, 36, grew up in Normandy and always loved animals. He moved to Alaska in 1992 because he “loved sow.” He adopted “Ugly”, a gorgeous Alaskan Mutt, put a harness on him and the adventure began. He traveled all over the state and began racing while working for Jim Lanier. “In 2011, Jim’s hip gave him trouble, so I took his wonderful white dogs to Nome.” He also lived in Girdwood, Alaska, and worked for Dario Daniels, whose training techniques live on through Nic’s calm mushing demeanor. During the last six years, he has run dogs from Raymie Redington and bred a female to his favorite Redington dogs and created a magnificent group of athletes that have proven that they have what it takes to win the Iditarod and any other race out there. He won the Fastest Time from Safety to Nome award last year and was third to finish the race. He says, “The future looks bright for my dog team.” Nic’s partner is Emily Maxwell, who will be a rookie in this year’s Iditarod. Nic lists his hobbies as “just dogs…”!