2011 Iditarod Champion
Team Baker took 1st place in the 2011 Iditarod Sled Dog Race. They set a new record by completing the race in 8 days; 18 hours; 46 minutes; and 39 seconds – smashing the record by 4 hours.
"I thought I was just a speck on this Earth that nobody will ever notice...but once I allowed myself to dream, things started happening."
"15 years of running the Iditarod, 15 years of dealing with the disappointment. It would have been easy to quit; but to finish, you have to keep trying."
"Winning was not just about crossing the finish line. My accomplishment was not just mine; it became an example for others, an inspiration for a whole community."
John's Focus Takes Him to the Top of the Pack
He calls himself a simple man from Kotzebue who grew up with a love of flying and mushing dogs. Then, in 2011 John Quniaq Baker won the hearts of the world - and became the pride of Native America - when he shattered the Iditarod Trail race record by three hours. John is the first Inupiaq champion in the event's history and the first Alaska Native to win the race since 1976.
Today John is training full -time and sharing his inspirational message with Alaskans and others, particularly with his favorite audience - today's youth. He tells the story of how to overcome challenge by staying focused. "Never, never give up."