RACES: Armundsen Race (Norway) Femundslopet (Norway) Finnmarkslopet (Norway) **Nadezhda Hope Race (Russia) **Chukotka Sprint Championship (Russia) *Kuskokwim (US) *Top of the World 350 (US) *Yukon Quest (US - Canada) *Knik (US) *Iditarod (US) * = Top-7 finish , ** = Champion
Joar Leifseth UlsomSenior Musher
Joar Leifseth Ulsom
February 21, 1987 -- Mo i Rana (NORWAY)
2013 Iditarod Rookie of the Year, Joar Leifseth Ulsom, is the fastest rookie to have ever run the Iditarod. In the legendary 2014 Iditarod, he placed 4th with the 5th fastest time in history, and a new Norwegian record in the race. Landing the second top-10 finish in only two starts is a feat just four other mushers in Iditarod history have done before. Joar is born and raised Norway, 50 miles south of the Arctic Circle. He and all but one of his dogs came to Alaska from Norway in 2011 to be part of Team Racing Beringia. Joar went live with the program in 2012 from the Yukon Quest where he placed sixth, and then went to Russia for what is considered the toughest race in Eurasia: The Nasdezhda Hope Race. Joan became the first non-native champion of that race in 20 years, with the fastest time ever. He and his team also claimed victory in the 2012 Chukotka Sprint Championship; as well as another Nadezhda Hope Championship in 2014. Joar now works full-time with his very small kennel of dogs. Back in Norway, he worked as a cowboy while he ran the great races of Scandinavia: Finnmarksløpet, Femundlópet and the Amundsen Race.
“My first experience of Beringia was when I was invited to Chukotka in Russia to run 2011 Nadezhda Hope. This was part of delivering an online education program at PolarHusky.com. Entering the world of online education with adventure learning, then led me to be part of Team Racing Beringia. I came here to Alaska in November of 2011 with my dogs from Norway. When I was just a kid I decided that I wanted to run dogs. At 13 I was offered to buy a dog team, sled and all for $1000, but my parents didn’t agree to it. Once I set my mind on something I am a bit stubborn, so at 19 when I got my own, I bought some large sled dogs to go camping with in the mountains. Nothing else is like running in the mountains with my dogs. One day as I was sitting up there in my Lavu (a tent of the Native Sami people of Scandinavia) a man stopped outside with his team of racing dogs – he was not feeling good and I offered to help him out. That was the beginning of a great friendship, and that winter I ran his team in Finnmarkslopet. From that point on, my life has gone completely to the dogs. Today I have some 35 dogs with my partner Petter Arnesen back in Norway — and yes, my family is some of my greatest supporters.” — Joar