2020 Iditarod Homecoming – Sleeping at Home!

Good Morning Race Fans!

With all of the changes to our lives, one benefit to Pete and the Team is that they were able to sleep at home after finishing! Pete is still recovering from his stomach bug, so it was huge to be home. The Team as well were very excited.

We can’t say enough about our sponsor and friend, RyanAir. They are always there for Pete and the Team as well as for Richie Diehl and Ryan Redington. As soon as Pete and the Team were checked out by the Iditarod Veterinarians, they were whisked up to the Nome Airport where a RyanAir Cessna 208 Caravan was waiting to take them to Bethel. Upon arrival Pete crossed the “finish line” one more time to an eagerly awaiting family. Bethany and the kids were super excited to see Daddy come home. They are always at the finish of races, but under these conditions stayed home in support of CDC recommendations.

As the plane rounded the corner, Ari said, “I see it!” The plane pulled up and shutdown and the little family was escorted to the plane to see Pete finally after almost 10 days. Little Aylee was smiling ear to ear.

As always, Rick Hanson was there with his trailer to help out and get the Team to the yard. Upon arrival at the yard, the dogs went wild to see their Teammates come home. The puppies, new to all of this, were really curious. Soon they will know as some of them will begin training and may make the 2021 Iditarod Team.

Pete has been battling a stomach bug since Galena. He is on the mend, but being at home was huge for him. He was tired and just ready to slip under the covers at home and get some needed shuteye.

Thank you all for your support! Thanks again to RyanAir for all of your support. Boyuk, Lee, and the entire RyanAir family are our family! We really appreciate your help!!!

2020 Iditarod – Finish!

Pete and the Team crossed the 2020 Finish Line at 12:56:19 to claim 14th place!

He has to be so proud of the 2020 Team. Crossing the line with 9 dogs, the dogs had tails up and were lunging to go. What a beautiful sight! Not only that, but Team Kaiser has had the fastest Safety to Nome time so far at 2 hours 47 minutes! That’s 33 minutes faster than the Thomas Waerner over the last 22 miles of this 975 mile race! NICE!

Total Elapsed time for 2020 is 9 days 22 hours 56 minutes and 19 seconds which is pretty similar to his 2018 race where he finished in 5th place.

With all activities cancelled, mushers will collect their prize money and be off to their homes this year. We are so lucky to have Ryan Air in our corner! A Ryan Caravan will be whisking Team Kaiser back to Bethel this afternoon. So different from the long week after a finish. Pete is going to enjoy sleeping in his own bed on the day he finishes. That’s never happened before!!

A big thank you to all of your support throughout the Race Season. Kaiser Racing wants to wish you the very best. Stay Healthy and Stay Safe!

Janet’s Iditaride

As Pete approaches the Finish Line, I wanted to stop and take a moment to remember a really cool moment for Kaiser Racing. As happens each year, the activities of the Start of the Iditarod happen swiftly and then the news starts coming in from the trail and before you know it we are at Takotna!! Then this year, with all of the distraction and apprehension about the Covid-19 virus, well, one really important story didn’t make the pages of Kaiser Racing Kennel!

Janet, Pete’s Mom, is easily Pete’s biggest fan! (no offense to Beth or the kids, of course) She get’s to be a bit of a nervous Nellie at times, but her pride is only matched by her love for a son that took his dream and made it reality.

Love is the cornerstone of the Kaiser family and it was so important to show just a little to his bride with her birthday gift of the Iditarider seat. This year especially was a bit expensive as Pete was the returning Champion. But it meant so much to Ron to have the whole family leave the Starting Line together.

You know the story– Pete heads off to college as is the normal thing to do, but spends his time studying and dreaming of running a professional dog Team. He heads back to Bethel and sits his parents down to tell them his plan. Sitting at their kitchen table must have been a bit nervous, but both Janet and Ron totally supported his decision. His mushing career began with him and his Mom and Dad… It was only fitting for them to leave as Champions together. To me, it’s almost a poetic statement.

Janet hardly slept before the race and was pretty nervous before sitting down in the sled. But then things got easier and way more fun! 3-2-1 GO! And they were off! As I can attest from my ride last year, it’s very exciting to hear the crowd cheering and all of the support of the fans. Janet had such a great time!

Here’s Janet’s ride to share with all of you! Her interview at the end is really “the best!” Go Team Kaiser!!

Mort’s Famous Flag

Mort and his Flag – LA Times!!

Hot news from the Iditarod Finish Line last night!

Mort, Nik Wikstrand’s Dad, traveled from Norway and has been with Team Kaiser since the first of the month. Nik had traveled with him to help Pete and the Team, but unfortunately was turned around by some paperwork snafu at the border. Mort, undaunted, kept going and has been helping and cheering on the Team since.

Ron and Mort headed up to Nome last night to cheer on Pete and the Team as they came into Nome and as luck would have it became almost an instant celebrity upon Thomas Waerner’s win last night.

Waerner hails from Norway as well and unfortunately they didn’t have a Norwegian flag for the finish. As word traveled to Mort of the situation he thought, “I wonder if I left my Norwegian flag here last year!” As they sat thinking about it Bob and Sherrie Madden wondered as well. They began a house-wide search and as the men were about to give up, Sherrie was convinced that it was there and lo and behold she found it!!

Mort and Ron headed down to the Finish Line and as Waerner crossed the line it was Mort and his Norwegian Flag in all of the photos! Kaiser Racing to the Rescue!!

Heie Norge! Heie Norge! (Go Norway!)

 

Halfway Nome!

An Awaiting Nome

Good Morning Race Fans! Welcome to the last day of the 2020 Iditarod!

First off a hearty congratulations to Thomas Waerner who crossed the Finish Line to become the 2020 Iditarod Champion. His Team looked beautiful as he ran up front street last night to claim his victory.

Kaiser Fans can recall the moment of elation that happens with such a win! All of us were lucky enough to experience that feeling last year and to see it happen for another Team is awesome as well. Congratulations to Thomas Waerner!

Pete and the Team left White Mountain right on time at 3:17am with 9 dogs. At present the Team is about halfway to Nome and in a solid 14th position.

Halfway NOME! Haha!

Let’s give a shout out to the Team for 2020! Not all of them will make it to the Finish Line, but each and every one contributed the program and the success of 2020! Each of these fine animals cheered each other on, trained hard all season, and had great success in winning Pete’s 5th Kuskokwim 300. Luck wasn’t in their corner for the 2020 Iditarod, but a top 20 finish is A-OK!! Meet the Team!

Tune into the Live Finish on the Insider!

Go Team Kaiser!!

White Mountain at Last

It feels odd not sitting on Bob Madden’s couch as Pete and the Team roll into White Mountain. While I fully understand and support the social distancing that will hopefully lessen the blow of this pandemic to our families and friends, I can’t help but have a gnawing feeling I am in the wrong place. Bob and Sherrie’s home has been my Nome/Home away from home for many years and not seeing them or standing at the ready to cheer on Pete and the Team just feels strange. I’m a little Nomesick to be honest!

Pete and the Team were into White Mountain and the 8 hour hold at 7:18pm. It’s been a long hard run in from Elim over the ice. The warm soft trail must have been pretty challenging as it took 7 hours to complete. Although Pete had been traveling with Nicolas Petit, after leaving Elim, Nic chose to return to Elim for more rest. Interesting looking at the archives, though as last year it took 7 hours 24 minutes for Team Kaiser to make that same journey. Pete’s speeds on the tracker seem to be slower, but it took less time– Interesting…

This final 8 hour stop in the Iditarod is to allow the veterinarians to give each Team their final check over and allow mushers to get a bit of rest as well. The last 77 miles can sometimes be the most brutal, and realistically it’s the last village before Nome. Safety is just a cabin, so taking a break here is a good deal for a Team that has been on the trail for so many days and miles.

Unless something out of the ordinary happens, Thomas Waerner will cross the Finish Line between Midnight and 2:00am. A good fast Team can make the run in 10 hours, but with the warm conditions I’m thinking about 10:30. He left at 13:30, thus my thinking.

This is the first time a musher that is part of a larger “Team” similar to a Nascar race Team will have won the Iditarod. Joar Leifseth-Ulsom, Dallas Seavey, and Thomas Waerner make up the QrillPet race Team. They have had a real nice run and have beautiful dog Teams. Thomas has also had a very good race and good luck. All ingredients to a Race Win– Luck, Skill, and a beautiful dog Team. Congratulations will be order if his luck continues.

Pete will be able to leave White Mountain at 3:18am. After about 11 to 12 hours I am thinking a Kaiser Team finish between 2 and 4pm tomorrow. Darn! A daylight finish!!! (For a photographer they can be the best!) Ron and other Kaiser Fans will be waiting at the finish, but we will also be able to watch live. So make sure to Tune into Iditarod Live tomorrow afternoon!

Unfortunately the weather is supposed to warm more tomorrow, so I’m sure Pete ready to get this underway and to the Finish before it warms up too much.

Go Team Kaiser!!

Into Elim- Interesting to See How Things Work Out – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Good Morning Race Fans!

Weather is getting warmer and warmer, but Pete and the Team seem to have turned the corner and trail times are looking real nice.

Last Year Nic Petit was unable to continue after some trouble on the trail to Koyuk. Today finds both Nic and Pete traveling together as they move closer to the finish. Both mushers are World-Class mid-distance champions and have had fine performances in past Iditarods. Both Teams also have had a challenging 2020 Iditarod with Pete having a stomach issue and Nic’s Team getting lost. To see them traveling together is a pretty cool thing in terms of sportsmanship. Always nice to be traveling with someone.

Pete was into Elim at 10:13 with 9 dogs. Weather in Elim is foggy and warm. Luckily it is just under freezing which actually make the trail really fast. Pete and Nic are showing the fastest Teams on the Trail at this point. Awesome!! Forecast is for warmer temperatures, I’m sure mushers are really anxious to get to the Finish Line for more reasons than one.

Unfortunately people’s attention is on the national health crisis that is underway presently, but we still have a dog race underway, so stay tuned! The Iditarod is actually the last sports event underway in the nation! One ironic tidbit about the race is that the United States is now in a serious health crisis. The Iditarod commemorates the run to Nome for a diptheria crisis. Sometimes it’s interesting how things work out.

For those of you with bit of the Green in your heritage- Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This writer is directly descended from the Isle of Shamrocks and Guinness and the land beyond the rainbow. My clan came across during the great Potato famine in the 1850’s.

Here’s how Nome celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with Nome’s Mayor, Richard Beneville. A one of a kind Alaskan Mayor! He’s had a tough year with his health this year, so we wish him our best! This is last year’s celebration and parade in Nome! Erin Go Bragh!