Michigan Teen Completes Junior Iditarod Race in Alaska

Hannah Mahoney of Bloomfield Hills talks about perseverance and her goal to compete in the Iditarod.

Suzanne Mahoney

A Bloomfield Hills teen is back in Michigan after finishing this year’s Junior Iditarod race in Alaska.

17-year-old musher Hannah Mahoney recently spoke with WDET’s Jake Neher about the experience and how she got into racing dog sleds.

“Even when I was a toddler, I used to make a makeshift dogsled in the house with a laundry basket (and) our family pet… with a toy,” says Mahoney. 

“And I’d make a harness. And I’d throw the toy and the dog would take off with me in the laundry basket.”

Mahoney won the Red Lantern trophy in the race, which goes to the last musher to finish the race.

“The Red Lantern represents perseverance,” she says. “You never gave up. And even through you could have scratched, could have quit, you kept going on, even hours after everyone finished.”

Mahoney also talks about participating in the ceremonial start to the Iditarod and meeting Gov. Rick Snyder.

Click the audio player above to hear the full conversation.

Suzanne Mahoney



  • Jake Neher
    Jake Neher is senior producer for Detroit Today and host of MichMash for 101.9 WDET. He previously reported on the Michigan Legislature for the Michigan Public Radio Network.