Aliy Zirkle races SP Kennel's Red Team. Although her primary focus is the annual long-distance Iditarod, Aliy competes in a number of short- and mid-distance races during the season. These often include the Sheep Mountain 150, the Copper Basin 300 and the Yukon Quest 300.
In 2000 she was the first and only woman ever to win the Yukon Quest -- "The World's Toughest Sled Dog Race." Including her first Iditarod in 2001, Aliy has completed the 1,000+ mile race thirteen consecutive years. In 2005 and 2011 she received the Iditarod's "Humanitarian Award" for supreme care of her dog team. Her best finishes are two 2nd places in both 2012 and 2013.
Aliy began running dogs up in a small Alaskan town north of the Arctic Circle called Bettles, population 35. She had a 6-dog team with which she traveled all around the northern villages and the Brooks Mountain Range.
While there, she entered into a race in Allakaket, a village on the Koyukuk River and loved the experience. When she left Bettles, Aliy moved to Two Rivers, Alaska -- outside of Fairbanks -- where she met and married Allen Moore.
It was then that she really started getting into racing sled dogs, and has become one of the premier mushers in the sport today.
Born in New Hampshire, Aliy spent most of her childhood in Puerto Rico and St. Louis, Missouri. At age 20, she found her way north to Alaska. And fell in love with the land.
She left Alaska, briefly, in order to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with dual degrees in biology and anthropology. Her graduation present to herself was a 5-month long hike along the Appalachian Trail. Her permanent return to Alaska was in 1993 for a job with the US Fish & Wildlife Department.
Besides Alaskan Husky sled dogs, Aliy is passionate about coffee. Her mornings always start by grinding select coffee beans and brewing a tasty cup.