Iditarod Trail Kennel

Home to 2014 Iditarod race finisher Charley Bejna who is also a type 1 Diabetic.

Charley Bejna


Charley is from Illinois and Alaska and is qualified to race in the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod.

Charley Bejna is a 40 year old adventurer from Addison, Illinois. He has owned and operated Charley's Landscaping Company for the past twenty-two years. Charley first came to Alaska in 1991 with his dad, visiting much of the state and checking out various dog sledding activities. Inasmuch as dogs have always been a part of his family, Charley became interested in following the Iditarod. In 2006 Charley observed his first Iditarod, and in 2007 was Bruce Linton's Idita-rider during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod. In 2008, Charley was a tag sled driver for Bruce's ceremonial run! (Bruce and Charley are both type 1 diabetics – with Charley having been diagnosed in 2000). Charley was impressed that Bruce didn't let his diabetes stand in his way from running dogs. In 2008 Charley met GB Jones at his kennel on the Iditarod, and was provided the opportunity to drive a team around a large circular loop several times! From that point on, Charley knew he wanted to train and run dogs! GB indicated that he would run his final Iditarod in 2011, and Charley volunteered to help with the training. Subsequently, Charley began training, and in 2011 entered his first race, the Willow-Tug 300, and finished in 17th position with all 14 dogs he started with! After that race, Charley learned a lot, had fun, and wanted to participate in future races! Inasmuch as many of the dogs at GB's kennel were ready for retirement, Charley acquired several puppies which were born in 2011, as well as traveled to Whitehorse and acquired six good dogs there. Charley now had a good and formidable sled dog team, comprised of both experienced dogs, as well as young energetic puppies! In January of 2012 Charley completed the Knik 200 (24th place) and a few weeks later, the Northern Lights 300 (16th place). Charley has finished the 2013 Northern Lights 300 (15th place) Charley competed 724 miles in the 2013 Iditarod but had to scratch shortly after Unalakleet in the best interest of his dogs. Charley has signed up for the 2014 Iditarod and is looking forward to making it to Nome!     


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Iditarod Trail Kennel
P.O. Box 873261
Wasilla, Alaska 99687-3261