Jeff King (mushing)
Jeff King (center) posing for photos with spectators during the 2013 Kuskokwim 300.
February 6, 1956 |
North Fork, California, USA
Jeff King (born in North Fork, California) is an American long distance musher who is well known for winning both the 1,100+ mi (1,600+ km) Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race across the U.S. state of Alaska (four times) and the 1,100 mi (1,600 km) Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race across the U.S. and Canada (once).
King moved to Alaska in 1975 and began racing in 1976. A successful sled dog racer, he won the Yukon Quest in 1989, and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1993, 1996, 1998, and most recently, in the 2006 Iditarod. Four other mushers have won the Iditarod four times (Martin Buser, Susan Butcher, Doug Swingley, Lance Mackey) and only one, Rick Swenson has won it more often (five times). King was 50 years old when he won the 2006 Iditarod, which made him the oldest musher to win the event, a distinction he held until 2013 when Mitch Seavey won at age 53. As of 2015, he has competed in 26 Iditarods. His "Idita-Rider" for the 2005 Iditarod was a child sponsored by the Make-a-Wish Foundation. King has also won many other sled dog races. He continues to race and has a kennel near the entrance of Denali National Park.
Jeff King likes to invent. Several years ago, he added a comfortable seat to his sled. After falling asleep and falling off the sled, King added a seat belt: "Musher Jeff King has developed a new, sit-down sled that some have labeled the Iditarod Barcalounger. King said it helps him get more rest, although he almost lost his team this year when he got to resting so well he went to sleep and fell off. He's since added a seat belt." In 2006, King added a heated handlebar to warm his hands and his food, which heats up to 200 degrees.
While on a training run in Denali National Park in 1980, Jeff's team became entangled with that of a new volunteer ranger, and thus he met his future wife and mother of his three daughters, award winning artist Donna Gates. They divorced in 2011. King is currently partnered with Kristin Bacon.
Major Mushing Victories
Iditarod (4 times): 1993, 1996, 1998, 2006.
Yukon Quest: 1989
Kuskokwim 300 (9): 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2013.
Copper Basin 300 (2): 1995, 2010
Tustumena 200 (3): 2000
International Rocky Mountain Stage Stop Sled Dog Race: 1999
- St. George 2006, para. 2.
- Alaska Dispatch, 13 March 2013
- Little, Jon (2006-03-05). "King should have smoke trailing from his sled-literally". Cabela's 2006 Race Coverage. Cabela's. Retrieved 2006-08-31.
- Anchorage Daily News, "Jeff King Among Dog Racing Royalty", February 20, 2006. /http://www.adn.com/2006/02/19/277981/jeff-king-among-dog-racing-royalty.html
- St. George, Chas. (March 15, 2006). King makes it number four. Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Anchorage, Alaska. Retrieved on March 15, 2006 from Official Site of the Iditarod, For Press (pdf of press release).
- Medred,Craig & Caldwell, Suzanna (March 13, 2013). Mitch Seavey claims victory in Iditarod 2013. "Alaska Dispatch"