No photos of the finish as it was completely dark at the Finish Line. This is Denali Park this morning.
In a photo finish that happens so rarely, Pete and Lucas, who had been trailing Nicolas Petit for 40 miles, stepped off to pass in the last 1/2 mile of the race. Pete told Ron this morning that he knew he couldn’t race the Team Petit that far out, so he just held back until the last straight stretch into the Fish and went for the pass. Lucas’ sled passed the Petiit Leader just as they crossed the finish line. An unbelievable win as 40 dogs run side by side for the finish Line! Pete said both teams were full out coming in full out 15 miles per hour to reach the line.
Pete and Lucas were pretty excited after the very exciting run for the win and can now rest comfortably with the $5000 Grand Prize. A hearty congratulations to Team Petit for the second place win as well. It isn’t often that the last 1/2 mile of a mid-distance race comes down to a few seconds, but it is a finish that spectators and these two outstanding Teams will remember for quite some time!
The Denali Doubles, an unique race in Interior Alaska, starts today in Cantwell. The brainchild of Jeff King, the event takes mushers from Cantwell in teams of two mushers and one dog team up the Denali Highway to the Tangle Lakes Campground and returns. The 226 miles is some of the most beautiful scenery that Alaska has to offer and hopefully some SNOW!!
Pete will be joined by his friend Lucas Salzbrun for the run this year.
Check out the following links for more on this fun race!
After the long weekend of racing and excitement, Mushers, Families, Sponsors, Host Families, Volunteers, and a good crowd of folks met to break bread together and listen to the stories from the trail. It was a hard fought battle this year with many comments from the Mushers including, “Worst I’ve ever seen” or many other adjectives. The Kuskokwim 300 is world renowned as being a tough race. As Pete said in his pre-race interview, “After you have prepared for the K300, you may as well run the Iditarod because you are already trained well enough to do the race.”
Pete received $25,000 for his win and a beautiful trophy made by his dad, Ron Kaiser. Ron makes the trophies every year and the last two have been extra special for him because they go to his son. Over the years Ron has created some real pieces of artwork and this year was no exception.
Now that the banquet is over, the airport is bustling with mushers, handlers, and dogs leaving on planes to bring mushers back to their home dog yards to prepare for the next challenge. For Pete and the Team, it is off to Kaiser Kennel North, a new training yard that he now has in the Nenana area. After several years of really bad training weather, he knew that he would have to make arrangements to keep training even when the weather was poor. Last year he was lucky enough to have a place with Aaron Burmester, but he decided that a more permanent place was needed and Kaiser Kennel North was borne.
Next up for the Team is the Iditarod in a month and a half or so. We will keep you posted. Go Team Kaiser!
Bogus 150 Trophy
Akiak Dash Trophy
Jackie Larson – Bogus 150 Champion
Hugh Neff and John Baker talk shop
Kurt Parkan with Donlin Gold wins Pete’s Sled Number Auction