Meredith Mapes

Robert Forto

Robert Forto

@robertforto | Executive producer and co-host of Dog Works Radio

Join host Robert Forto as he welcomes back Meredith Mapes to Mushing Radio. Meredith just recently finished her first Iditarod in March and is on the show to talk about her experiences on the trail and what it is like to now be an Iditarod finisher!


Meredith Mapes, owner and head poop scooper at Fun On The Run Kennel, was raised in Alaska and has been around sled dogs for most of her life.
She was first introduced to sled dogs at age 6 through Girl Scouts, and at the Willow Winter Carnival 1-Dog race in 2001 she won by just 1/5 of a second. From then on she was hooked, and competed in a variety of 1-Dog races the next season before taking a break from mushing for a few years.
At age 12 she was gifted with her first two sled dogs, which came from Mitch Seavey’s kennel. That fall she was gifted with two more dogs from musher Sue Allen, and Fun On The Run Kennel was born. The kennel continued to grow the next year, and she trained her own team for her first big mid-distance dog race – the 2008 Junior Iditarod, where she finished in 14th place.
Everything changed for Meredith when her dog team was hit by a snow machine during the Aurora 50/50 in December 2008. Her two main lead dogs were injured, and she was shaken up but uninjured herself. She competed in the Junior Iditarod finishing 8th that year, but her heart wasn’t really in racing anymore.
After high school Meredith officially called herself retired from sled dog racing, and started college. She was offered a job working in Seward, Alaska at Seavey’s IdidaRide Sled Dog Tours, and had a blast working with sled dogs again. Within the first week she said she’d be running the Iditarod in just a few years, and blames Danny Seavey for offering her that job and getting her back into dog mushing (and he continues to feed her mushing addiction to this day!).
Meredith graduated from college in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with an emphasis on Dance from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She’s excited to be running dogs from her own kennel in the 2018 Iditarod.
Favorite Quote:
“Just mush” -Mitch Seavey
Meredith’s Sponsors:
Mom and Dad
Seavey’s IdidaRide Sled Dog Tours
Dr Brent Taylor
Trisha and Richard Plack
Planet Earth Adventures/Albert Marquez
Bionic Chiropractic
And all of our individual dog sponsors!

What we discuss on this episode:

  • The start of the Iditarod and what it was like to be in the big race
  • How the race shaped up over the course of 1000 miles
  • What it is like to now be an Iditarod finisher!

Meredith shares a story about one of her lead dogs, Sara Jane!

Photo credit: Kristie Lent

Host, Robert Forto’s Bio:

Robert is the training director for Alaska Dog Works where they train dogs for canine obedience, working dogs, therapy dogs and service dogs for clients all over North America. He is also a dog musher and he and his wife operate a 40-dog mushing kennel in Willow, Alaska, called Team Ineka. They can often be seen at local races and leading expeditions in the Alaska backcountry with outdoor leadership students at the University of Alaska. Robert is the producer of Dog Works Radio that has been on the air since 2009 and is currently simulcast on a local radio station, KVRF in Palmer, Alaska.

Links and Resources Mentioned: 

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Robert Forto

Robert Forto

@robertforto | Executive producer and co-host of Dog Works Radio

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