I-TWIN-AROD: Sisters from South Shore race in Alaska’s Iditarod

Kat, Kristy and Anna Berington before the Iditarod. The three sisters grew up in Port Wing,...
Kat, Kristy and Anna Berington before the Iditarod. The three sisters grew up in Port Wing, Wisconsin on the South Shore.(Kat Berington)
Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 10:43 AM CST
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PORT WING, WI. (Northern News Now) - A pair of twin sisters from the South Shore have now competed in the Iditarod at least a dozen times.

The Berington twins graduates from South Shore High School in 2002, and since then have moved to Knik, Alaska to follow the Iditarod Trail.

Kristy Berington is running her 14th Iditarod race this year, with her twin sister, Anna, running her 12th.

Both of the sisters fell in love with sled dog acing young, according to their sister Kat Berington.

“From an early age we always had animals on the farm, from pet dogs, to horses,” Berington said. “When we had a Great Pyrenees and Border Collie growing up, they decided, ‘hey, let’s take this old pair of cross country skis and tie a milk crate on here and tie up the dogs and see if they’ll pull us a little bit.’”

They then met neighbor who was a musher, and eventually met the 1984 Iditarod champion, Dean Osmar.

Since then, they haven’t looked back, moving to the Last Frontier.

“They continue to improve year over year with respect either to their time on the trail, because each year the trail is different.”

Different indeed. The roughly 1,000 mile trek switches routes each year, with mushers taking the “Southern Route” on odd years and the “Northern Route” during even years.

The race spans a good portion of the state, from Anchorage, the state’s largest city, the Nome on the western edge.

“They had a lot of snow in Alaska this year and the Iditarod Trail Committee’s trail breakers did a really good job making sure the trail was well packed,” Berington said.

The twins are just two of eight women competing this year. The first time a woman and her sled dogs won was in 1985.

The Berington twins not only are known for their racing, but they frequently get the “Humanitarian Award” at several races across the country.

“Veterinarians typically vote on in each race and award to a musher that they felt really went above and beyond when it came to the health care and safety to their dogs,” she said.

The pair has a blog called “Seeing Double Sled Dog Racing” talking about their journey as mushers on the Iditarod.

For more information about the Berington twins’ journey you can visit their website here.