About Team Bailey
Official Iditarod Finisher #827
Hello Fellow Dog Mushing Enthusiasts,
My name is Bailey Cross Vitello and I am the professional dog musher behind “Team Bailey”. My passion for dog sledding began when I was young as I am a second generation musher. My parents found mushing while looking for ways to engage their dogs in a healthier lifestyle. As the youngest of three brothers, our parents often practiced with us while running their team on the trail. I had the opportunity to watch and learn dog sledding first hand. Those first experiences solidified my love of dog mushing and fueled my passion for working dog sports. I competed in my first “race” when I was barely two years old with my first dog Bridgie. From that point, I made it my goal to be the youngest musher at all the races I attended. Many times, people wondered whether it was safe for me on the trails (being so young and frankly just being able to see over the handle bars)…but little did they know I was born for this. So I trained and worked hard to become the best musher that I could be to prove them wrong and that I did.
After years of competing in races on the east coast I was finally old enough to enter the Jr. Iditarod in Alaska. At 14 years old my father and I took a year off from school and work to train and compete in races throughout the lower 48 and then made the journey to the the Jr. Iditarod in Wasilla, AK. When we got there I had never witnessed so many individuals who loved the sport as I did. The race itself was tough and the weather was nothing like we had seen at home, even so I loved it. I knew I would one day return to Alaska to compete in the real deal, The “Toughest Race on Earth”, The Iditarod.
In early 2022 I completed my qualifiers for the Iditarod. We spent the summer packing for the long road ahead and headed to Alaska that Fall. Taking up residence in Nenana (home of the Minto Flats) one of the best training areas in Alaska. I was beyond lucky to be surrounded by neighbors who were Iditarod Veterans and shared their insight and knowledge that they had gained over the years to help give me and my team the best possible success for my rookie run.
My first Iditarod was everything I could
have asked for and more. The main goal
was to cross the burled arch in Nome with
a happy and healthy dog team and we did
just that. Completing my rookie run in 11
days 16 hours 49 minutes and 57 seconds
taking home 24th place out of 34 teams
and finishing with the group of friends I had
made on the trail. Now that I have completed
the race and have seen what my team and
myself are capable of we are all in and training
towards a competitive 2024 Iditarod run.