We are excited to announce that Jess and the team have signed up for their 3rd Iditarod race. 2020 brought with it many challenges for everyone including the tailwind kennel team. With the altering of the Iditarod trail to avoid most of the villages due to Covid-19 Jess decided to wait a year until the race resumed it's normal route to Nome. Meanwhile the team and Jess focused on running the Kuskokwim 300 dogsled race out in Bethel. The Kusko 300 is known for being the most competitive mid-distance race and, as usual, had a very competitive field. Tailwind team finished the Kuskokwim 300 in 8th place and Jessica won the humanitarian award.
It is also worth noting that during the 2021 spring race season: Jr. Musher and friend Anna Coke placed 3rd with the tailwind team in her last Jr. Iditarod. Her career history with the team includes a 2nd place in 2019 and two 3rd place finishes (2020 and 2021).
Tailwind kennel's 2020/2021 doghandler Tessa Mehnert also finished 1st place in her first ever dog race. Her leaders were Willy and Gouda. Tessa did a great job passing almost all of the other teams after she started the race close to last.
In a wild twist of events Sam last second (days before the start) entered his first ever long-distance dograce with the team: The Kobuk 440. Known as the toughest race above the arctic circle this spring-time race also boasts an extremely competitive field of mushers. This year was considered by the race organization and by all the seasoned mushers to be one of the toughest races with extreme winter conditions. Jessica and one of her closest friends from Vet school Dr. Alex Beck also got to enjoy the trail and blizzards as the race veterinarians. Sam ended up finishing in 5th place however he was 1 of 3 teams to make it all the way to Shungnak with Ryan Redington being the only team that made it further then Sam. With no place adjustments made for any teams other then first place we are so proud of Sam's performance. For an awesome race account visit: http://kotz.org/2021/04/06/as-kobuk-440-mushers-race-to-the-finish-winner-still-unclear/
Also during spring of 2021 Ralph and Brownie were borrowed by our friend and Iditarod musher Wad Marrs to race with him in the Iditarod. Both of these tailwind kennel leaders did great and Ralph finished with the team in 4th place!