Mellen Shea (1950-2006)

Mellen Shea was a founder and promoter of the Anchorage Skijor Club. A successful dogmusher, Mellen finished the Iditarod and made six trips to Nome as part of the serum run. She taught skijoring and helped popularize skijoring as a winter recreational activity. Her efforts were instrumental in establishing trails in Far North Bicentennial Park for skijoring. In recognition of her efforts, the Municipality of Anchorage renamed the trail previously known as “Rovers Run”, near the Spencer Loop and Campbell Creek, Mellen’s Way.

Her athletic accomplishments included winning the Tour of Anchorage 25 km ski race, winning the Iditaski, and placing 3rd overall in the National Master’s Cross Country Ski Championships. She summited Mt. Sanford, Mt. Logan, and Mt. Rainier. She was a two time finisher of the Boston Marathon and won Gold medals in the snowshoe races at Arctic Winter Games.

Mellen, an educator, taught PE and was a guidance counselor at West Anchorage High School for. 20 years. She worked with Alaska Native students and coached several sports. Known for her cheerful disposition and irrepressible spirit Mellen was an inspiration to her high school students whom she introduced to the outdoors through nontraditional courses such as Wilderness Studies.