Bob Gilman moved from Montana to Alaska in 1978 at the age of 16. He found his way to the Kotzebue area and began running a trapline in the Kobuk Valley. He put on a lot of miles on his Yamaha snowmobiles and entered a couple of races there, placing well.
In 1987, he moved to Wasilla and entered his first Iron Dog with Jim Wilke. The next year he raced with David Morgan of Nome, finishing a close second. In 1989, he then paired up with Iron Dog Hall of Famer John Faeo, finishing third. In 1990, he and Faeo won their first Iron Dog title together and repeated in 1991. Gilman and Faeo ran 8 years together and won again in 1996. Injuries and other life goals interfered and Gilman retired from Iron Dog competition in 1999.
Gilman said, “The Iron Dog was a big part of me for many years and more than the wins and high finishes, I’ll never forget the great people I met along the trail and in Western Alaska. I don’t think about the trophies that often but the experiences and camaraderie shared with many competitors in both the Pro and Trail Class during my Iron Dog years will last all my life.”