Wade Marrs, 25, has been dog mushing for as long as he can remember…
With his uncle as his biggest influence, he was able to learn about the sport of dog mushing and start training at an early age. Wade says he knew as early as age 5 that he wanted to race competitively and has been working towards winning the Iditarod with his team ever since. Wade enjoys dog mushing because it is fun and a good challenge, both mentally and physically. When asked about his dogs he puts it simply saying that they are perfect. When asked to elaborate he says that they are friendly, hardworking, well gated, long bodied, long legged and fast with great endurance. Wade loves being out on the trail because it is peaceful and quiet, good alone time with just him and his dogs.
Even though having a young kennel brings its own set of challenges,Wade and his team seem to take each curve in the trail as unwavering as the last. Throughout Stump Jumpin’ Kennel’s racing career, the team has been consistently improving. Stump Jumpin’ Kennel had their best finish yet in the 2016 Iditarod making it to Nome in 4th place! Placing Top 5 has given the team a new sense of determination. Their dream of becoming Iditarod champions is in sight and there is no stopping them!
Sophie joins SJK from a small town in Wisconsin south of Green Bay. In 2014 her adventurous spirit led her to Alaska as a volunteer to do veterinary work for Iditarod. That is where she met Wade, and as their relationship grew, so has her love for the sport…little did she know how much life would change. Sophie’s role is primarily focused on the business aspect of the team. Along with being a Licensed Veterinary Technician she loves applying her knowledge of animal health and nutrition to these incredible canine athletes. She sees herself as very fortunate to be able to learn the ropes of mushing from Wade and to help him and his growing kennel succeed.
Seventeen year old Andrew Nolan has had a growing bond with SJK since he was a young boy. Wade frequently recalls the story of how Andrew’s dad was pulling him in a sled when Wade’s team passed from behind and his wheel dog Yukon grabbed Andrew’s hood and carried him a short distance down the trail with them. Almost as if he was saying “You’re joining our team kid!” The rest has been history from there. Andrew and his family are regulars at the kennel, eager to learn and help in any way. It’s been fun watching Andrew progress and grow as a musher, and his loyalty and respect to Wade and his dogs is something that is truly appreciated. This year is an exciting one for Andrew, he will be completing the last of his Iditarod qualifying races to be ready to compete in Iditarod 2018!
Hannah Mahoney is 17 years old and comes to Alaska from Michigan! Currently Hannah is dual enrolled in both high school and college classes. Upon high school graduation she plans to study Wildlife Biology. Hannah has loved sled dogs since she was young, watching her favorite movies Balto and Iron Will, while having her dogs pull her around the house in a laundry basket! Hannah has since graduated from the laundry basket to a sled of her own, pulled by 2 of her 5 dogs at home, but still has the crave for more! Hannah will be joining SJK this season to train and run a team in the Jr. Iditarod. Her dream is to one day run the Iditarod.
Jimmy Lebling was born in Pennsylvania and raised in Maryland. He has spent most of his life in Alaska where he has been a commercial fisherman. Jimmy has been a dog handler and guide for the last 20 years, and running Iditarod has been his dream since he started mushing! Jimmy is excited to be at Stump Jumpin’ Kennel helping train the team for another year of success!