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