DeeDee Jonrowe

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DeeDee Ann Jonrowe (née Stout; born December 20, 1953) is an American kennel owner and dog musher who is a three-time runner up in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and holds the fastest time ever recorded for a woman. She is a very popular figure in the sport, and her completion of the 1,049-mile+ (1,600+ km) race in 2003 just three weeks after completing chemotherapy for breast cancer received widespread publicity.

History[edit]

Jonrowe was born on December 20, 1953, in Frankfurt, Germany. Her father, U.S. Army officer Kenneth Oliver Stout, was stationed there at the time. She went to school in Virginia, and in 1971 her family moved to Alaska where she received a B.S. in Biological Sciences and Renewable Resources from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In 1977, she married Mike Jonrowe.

Jonrowe has also been the spokesperson for the Winter Special Olympics, and the National Girl Scouts Council, and was awarded the Young Women's Christian Association's Alaska Woman of Achievement Award. She co-wrote the book Iditarod Dreams about prepping for the 1993 and 1994 Iditarods, with Lew Freedman.

Jonrowe lives in Willow, Alaska with her husband. She is a kennel owner, and continues racing. By 1979, she had a kennel with 25 dogs. She is a founder of Mush with P.R.I.D.E. (Providing Responsible Information on a Dog's Environment). She is active in her church.

Iditarod finishes [1]
Year Position Time (h:min:s)
1980 24th 17 days, 07:59:24
1981 31st 16 days, 05:05:43
1983 15th 13 days, 18:10:25
1984 30th 15 days, 19:18:13
1987 22nd 13 days, 02:58:15
1988 9th 13 days, 16:29:06
1989 9th 11 days, 37:14:16
1990 4th 11 days, 14:41:31
1991 7th 13 days, 13:44:10
1992 5th 11 days, 09:05:00
1993 2nd 10 days, 16:10:50
1994 9th 11 days, 04:25:15
1995 4th 9 days, 11:24:07
1996 2nd 9 days, 20:18:00
1997 4th 9 days, 18:26:10
1998 2nd 9 days, 08:26:10
1999 (Scratched)
2000 20th 10 days, 04:24:04
2001 10th 11 days, 14:33:15
2002 16th 9 days, 22:07:20
2003 18th 10 days, 23:45:39
2004 15th 10 days, 08:40:49
2005 10th 10 days, 01:42:55
2006 4th 9 days, 16:25:50
2007 (Scratched)[2]
2008 15th 10days, 1:07:46
2009 13th 10days, 22:56:10
2010 22nd 10days, 2:47:44
2011 12th 9days, 10:24:17
2012 10th 9 days, 14:43:15
2013 10th 9days, 13:24:39
2014 (Scratched)[3]

Racing[edit]

In 1978, DeeDee Jonrowe competed in her first dog sled race, the Women's Fur Rendezvous World Championship in Anchorage. She has competed in many dog sled races, including the Copper Basin 300 (which she won in 2001), the Klondike 300, and the John Beargrease.

Jonrowe competed in her first Iditarod in 1980, and again in 1981, 1983, 1984, and then in every race since 1987 for a total of 23 races and 22 finishes. In 1988, she placed in the top 10 for the first time (9th), and has placed in the top 10 a total of 15 times. While she has never won the race, she was the 2nd place finisher in three races (1996, 1993, and 1998). Her 1998 finish in second place with a time of 9 days, 8 hours, 26 minutes, and 10 seconds is the fastest time recorded for a woman. She is the only musher who competed in both the Iditarod and the Alpirod for three straight years (1992, 1993, and 1994). She has won a total of USD $335,804.

She is most widely known because of the publicity surrounding three setbacks. In 1996, an automobile accident outside Fairbanks, Alaska killed her grandmother, and both Jonrowe and her husband were hospitalized. She trained while recovering from her injuries, and placed 4th in the 1997 Iditarod. A more minor incident was a dog mutiny on the Yukon River in 1999. While racing the Iditarod, her dogs refused to go into a strong headwind and she was forced to scratch for the first time. She was forced to scratch in the 2007 Iditarod after suffering from hand and other injuries after sustaining a fall near the Rainy Pass checkpoint.

In July 2002, Jonrowe was diagnosed with breast cancer. Three weeks after completing chemotherapy, she competed in the Iditarod, placing 18th. The story was widely publicized, and in 2003 she won the Most Inspirational Musher Award, and was named the honorary chair of the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

Dog mushing in Alaska can be hazardous. According to Women Warriors (2004) Jonrowe said, "I've had back surgery, frozen my shoulder, broken my hand…I think I've had every single cold related injury. I haven't had any amputations, but I have had severe frostbite on my fingers, cheeks and nose. I even frostbit my corneas some years ago".

Other racing achievements [4] [5]
Year Race Achievement
1981 Iditarod Sportsmanship Award (chosen by other mushers)
1991 Iditarod Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award (1st to Iditarod)
1991 Iditarod Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award (best dog care in top 10)
1993 Iditarod Most Inspirational Musher Award (chosen by other mushers)
1997 Iditarod Joe Redington, Sr. Award (drawing)
2001 Copper Basin 1st place
2003 Iditarod Most Inspirational Musher Award (chosen by other mushers)

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Freedman, Lew; Jonrowe, DeeDee. (1995). Iditarod Dreams: A year in the life of Alaskan sled dog racer DeeDee Jonrowe. Epicenter Press. ISBN 0-945397-29-1.

External links[edit]