Melissa's rookie year was 2008 when she finished 30th. Her bib number for 2016 is 82.

Related Issue: Iditarod Racers, Women Racers Directory, Women in Racing, Women Racers, More Women in Racing, Race Schedules, Notable Women



Melissaa (Owens) Stewart, 26, was born and raised in Nome. She moved to the Mat-Su Valley in 2009 to attend Northern Industrial Training and decided to stay. She later earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the Charter College. Melissa lists her occupation as dog musher and says she has been mushing “since birth.” She says she has wanted to run the Iditarod as long as she can remember. “My dad ran the Iditarod the year I was born and mushing is in my blood. After completing four Jr. Iditarods, I ran my first Iditarod in 2008 and am the youngest female to finish the Iditarod. After taking a few years off, we have decided it is time to come back and run again and show the dogs what it is like to race across Alaska. My husband, Jason, and I now share the responsibilities of the kennel and enjoy spending time with the dogs and seeing them grow as a team. We are excited for this winter.”

Hometown: Edmonds, WA

Jan Steves, 56, was born and raised in Edmonds, Washington. In 2009 she moved to Alaska to run dogs and train for the Iditarod. A 1974 graduate of Edmonds High School, she attended the University of Washington. She is currently employed in property management/repairs. She began mushing in 2008 and says she first became interested in the Iditarod “when I first spent time with sled dogs in 2007.” Jan is the mother of three adult children, Nicole, Tyler, and Kelsey. She lists her hobbies as fishing, boating, hiking, skiing, and bike riding.

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