Joar Leifseth Ulsom

2018: 9d 12h 0m 0s

Joar Ulsom laughs, sun on his face, and hugs a white dog.
Joar Leifseth Ulsom and Todd relax in the sun after the March 2020 Iditarod. Photo courtesy Margot Ulsom.

Norwegian Joar Leifseth Ulsom, makes his home in Willow, Alaska, after leaving his hometown in Mo i Rana, Norway, in 2011. Ulsom traces his love for dogs and adventure to his youthful wanderlust in forays just south of the Arctic Circle, skijoring with his neighbor’s dogs. His interest in animals led him to study animal husbandry and farming science. After participating in a few small sled dog races using borrowed dogs, he decided to start his own kennel in 2008. Once he moved to Alaska, his accolades as a musher began to pile up. He’s the only musher in history to finish in the top seven in his first eight starts—winning in 2018 and getting second in 2019.

Along with Dallas Seavey and Thomas Waerner, Ulsom competes as a member of the world’s first professional long-distance sled dog team, built and sponsored by QRILL Pet, owned by the Antarctica krill-harvesting company Aker BioMarine. Even though Ulsom runs his Sivo Racing Kennel out of Willow, he maintains a strong connection to his Norwegian roots as a lifetime member of Rana Trekk- og Brukshundklubb, a kennel club based in Mo i Rana. While his feet and his pups remain on the ground, Ulsom also has his head in the clouds: When he’s not mushing, Ulsom is pursuing his commercial pilot’s license. Visit sivoracingkennel.com for more on Joar.

Man looks down and pets his dog, who is standing on two back legs with front legs up on the man's leg. Both are standing on a rock in a mountain lake.
Joar has the utmost love for nature and spends most of his time outdoors. Here, he hikes in Hatcher Pass in 2020 with Chief. Courtesy Margot Ulsom.
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