LOGO.Original Photo.jpg
michael.jpg
SamMartin2016Nov.jpg
11872977_10153556281223252_624710816_n.jpg
858188_10200842035998912_1954670662_o.jpg
LOGO.Original Photo.jpg

About Matt


ABOUT MATT

SCROLL DOWN

About Matt


ABOUT MATT

 

Matthew Failor, 34, Willow, AK

kissfordog

Matthew was born and raised in Mansfield, Ohio, and is a graduate of The Ohio State University (2007, Fine Arts Photography). Matthew is an Eagle Scout, an honor which he shares with each of his three brothers.

Matthew first fell in love with Alaska and its culture while working summers during college on the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. Through Gold Rush Dog Tours, Matthew formed a relationship with Veteran Iditarod Musher, Matt Hayashida; and through that relationship Matthew was able to earn a handler position with 4-time Iditarod Champion, Martin Buser (Happy Trails Kennel) in 2010. In 2012, Matthew ran a team of Buser puppies in ‘The Last Great Race’, and he hasn’t looked back. He has raced the Iditarod every year since, as well as multiple mid and long distance races, including the Yukon Quest (2013) and Kuskokwim 300 (2011).

Failor brothers (Ryan L & Matthew R) photobombed by Martin Buser.

Failor brothers (Ryan L & Matthew R) photobombed by Martin Buser.

Sponsors:

Gold Rush Sled Dog Tours

Alaska Icefield Expeditions

17th -Dog/Team Matthew Failor

K2 Woodworking

Wool-X

Michael O’Machearley Custom Knives

Highs Adventure Kennel & Gear

Seiler & Associates, LLC

17th -Dog Booster Family

In 2013 Matthew opened his own kennel, 17th-Dog/Team Matthew Failor. Carved out of the Birch & Black Spruce in Willow, AK, amongst numerous winter trails near the Mountains of Hatcher Pass, you can find home to 48 of the “hardest working athletes and truest friends [he] has ever known.” Matthew is proud to promote the lifestyle and sport of dog mushing through every day life, as well as tourism and racing.

Matthew has not forgotten his roots. He supports, promotes, and empowers his home community (and beyond) by giving back; through Catholic Charities, local schools, Boy Scouts of America, or National Awareness. While Matthew remains focused on his future, he is firmly rooted in the values he learned growing up in Ohio.

 
michael.jpg

About Michael


ABOUT MICHAEL

About Michael


ABOUT MICHAEL

 
michaeldoglick

Michael Baker, 29, Denver, CO

Michael began working as a dog handler for Gold Rush Dog Tours/Alaska Icefield Expeditions out of Juneau, AK in 2009. Michael joined forces with 17th -Dog in 2014, and has been Matthew’s right-hand man ever since; “He’s a tremendous help, a top-notch dog handler and musher, and I’m very happy he joined the team. I couldn’t do this without him” says Matthew.

Making the move North to pursue the sled dog lifestyle was a calculated move that Michael hopes will demonstrate to his beloved son, Siris, that through hard work and determination, dreams can come true and you can do anything you put your mind to. Michael hopes to move back to the lower 48 to be with Siris and eventually establish his own kennel. Michael is dedicating this rookie run to Nome to his son.

Michael loves spending time outdoors, fishing, hiking and running dogs. His other hobbies include cooking, baking, woodworking and music. Michael’s race history thus far has been in the Knik200, Copper Basin 300, Northern Lights 300, Denali Doubles and the Aurora 50/50. Michael will be running a puppy team out of 17th -Dog/TMF as a rookie in Iditarod 2017.

Sponsors:

Gold Rush Sled Dog Tours

Alaska Icefield Expeditions

17th -Dog/Team Matthew Failor

K2 Woodworking

Wool-X

Michael O’Machearley Custom Knives

Highs Adventure Kennel & Gear

Seiler & Associates, LLC

17th -Dog Booster Family

 
 
SamMartin2016Nov.jpg

About Sam


ABOUT SAM

About Sam


ABOUT SAM

 
SamMartin2016Nov.jpg

Sam Martin, 20, Boston, MA

In 2016, Sam took a job in Skagway, AK for Alaska Icefield Expeditions as a dog handler.  "He is an asset to the kennel.  He's a natural with dogs, and will be a big help to Michael and I this season" says Matthew.

Sam has a history of working with dogs.  Since the age of 11, he has worked alongside his mother training dogs for agility competitions.  He comes from a dog-loving family, who currently has 7 pet dogs. 

Sam is enthusiastic about learning more about sled-dog culture and sport. He put his desire to go to college on hold, though he plans to attend UC Davis studying veterinary medicine, in the future.

 

 
11872977_10153556281223252_624710816_n.jpg

About Katie


ABOUT
KATIE

About Katie


ABOUT
KATIE

 
Katiefai

Katie Failor, 41, Toledo, OH

If you’ve ever contacted the website, team email or FB page, more than likely you’ve spoken with Matthew’s only sister, Katie. She is 17th-Dog/Team Matthew Failor’s behind the scenes, go-to-girl. She handles the athlete boosters, sponsors, team gear, team email and social media. “We’re a very close family, and I love helping Matthew out. Plus, DOGS! Lots and lots of dogs! Who could resist!”

Katie has a Masters Degree from The Ohio State University, and is a Mental Health Therapist (LISW) who specializes in working with teen victims of violence, neglect and abuse. She taught Sociology @ North Central State College from 2009-2014.  Katie lives with her three dogs, Duke Raul (APBT), Butter Bean (Yorkie), and a retired sled-dog named Two Face, in north central Ohio. 

 
Matt and Katie photo credit: Albert Marquez
858188_10200842035998912_1954670662_o.jpg

Race History and Recognition


RACE HISTORY
AND RECOGNITION

Race History and Recognition


RACE HISTORY
AND RECOGNITION

RECOGNITION OF MATTHEW TO DATE:

2000 Eagle Scout (BSA) 
2007 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Photography (TheOSU)
2007 Firestone Photography Award (TheOSU)
2008 Tour Guide of the Year - Princess Tours (Alaska)
2011 Kuskokwim300 Rookie of the Year (k300.org)
2012 Sexiest Mushers of Iditarod (Alaska Dispatch)
2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 Princess C.R.U.I.S.E. Award Recipient (Courtesy, Respect, Unfailing in Service Excellence) 
2014 Tour Guide of the Season - Princess Cruise Tours

MATTHEW'S RACE HISTORY TO DATE:

2011 Kuskokwim 300 - Rookie of The Year Award (9th place)
2011 Willow Tug 300 - Checkers Choice Award (7th place)
2012 Knik 200 (34th place)
2012 Northern Lights 300 - Humanitarian Award (17th place)
2012 Iditarod Finisher (47th place)
2013 Yukon Quest Finisher (19th place)
2013 Iditarod Finisher (28th place)
2014 Iditarod Finisher (15th place)
2015 Iditarod Finisher (41st place)

2016 Iditarod Finisher (61st place)

 


Matthew at the 2015 Iditarod Restart in Fairbanks