JBER officer competes in 1,000-Mile Iditarod Trail Invitational; Star will remain lit

  • Published
  • 673 ABW/PA

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – The star on Mount Gordon Lyon will remain lit in support of the first-ever active-duty service member to attempt the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Joshua Brown, a 673d Surgical Operations Squadron surgical nurse, a native of Portland, Ore. who currently calls Eagle River home, was selected as one of 13 ultramarathon runners to compete in the race. He is competing on foot, dragging a supply sled behind him.

“I am so proud of Maj Brown – his grit and determination epitomize the resiliency of our arctic warriors,” said Colonel Anne Gray, commander of the 673d Surgical Operations Squadron. “His consistency and discipline in facing challenges are an inspiration to me personally and, I hope, to the rest of our Air Force.”

The Iditarod Trail Invitational 1,000-Mile is an event requiring participants to travel on foot, bike, or skis across Alaska carrying with them all the necessary gear to survive the Alaska winter. Organizers say it is the world’s longest and toughest winter race. All racers wear GPS devices allowing their progress to be tracked throughout the event.

The race began Feb. 27 on Knik Lake in Wasilla and will end in Nome. Racers have no more than 30 days to complete the trek; Brown has made it his goal to complete the race in 25.

Brown spent four years conditioning himself for the event, competing in the Iditarod Trail Invitational 350 mile, the Susitna 100-Mile twice, the Little Susitna 50k, and the Homer Epic 50k twice.

At the time of publication, Brown is in third place among the competitors in his category.

The star on Mount Gordon Lyon is lit each season after Thanksgiving and traditionally remains lit until the last Iditarod musher crosses the finish line. This year the star will remain lit until Brown completes his race.

To view images of Maj. Brown at the ITI starting line visit

For more information about the history of the star on Mount Gordon Lyon visit https://www.jber.jb.mil/Services-Resources/Environmental/Nike/NSS/