A night Start to a dogsled race. There is nothing like it– Unless you are a photographer!! It’s tough to capture the action and excitement that the Starting Line brings to the dogs, the mushers, and the fans.
Tonight was no exception! Teams were ready to get this party started. A few days of life in the limelight and now mushers get to get back to what is really their passion– Making tracks on the trail.
Many times I’ve covered Pete and Mike Jr. on the Iditarod and this race as well. It was fitting for the 40th anniversary of the Kuskokwim 300 that two local mushers led Teams out onto the trail to Aniak and back.
Here are the photos from the Start. Go Team Kaiser!!
It was a little chilly because of the wind, but in just a few minutes the 8 Bogus Creek Teams left Bethel for their overnight trip to Bogus Creek and back. Race fans will remember that this race allows “Pit Crews” which will meet Teams, often with Tents and campfires for their layover.
Several miles out of Bethel, 4 of the 8 Bogus Teams got off the trail and began traveling up the Gweek River. Upon seeing their mistake, the Teams backtracked and got back on the Trail. Looking at the tracker, Teams look to have lost over 30 minutes from the first group. It’s a bit of a bummer, but that’s Racing!!
Here are Nik’s Startline photos! Go Team Kaiser!!
“It’s 365 days a year, 7 days a week. It’s not like a car or a snow machine, you don’t put in the garage and it doesn’t need attention until you drive it. Everyday of the summer, they need food, they need water, the yard needs to be cleaned. And then in the winter it’s three times a much work with training and all the dog care and everything.”- Pete Kaiser “Goal Setting” (See it Here)
Race day is always a little nerve-wracking for mushers. After many years of days like this though, Pete and the Team have a pretty good system for making sure that everything is in place to begin the trek into the wilderness. This year Kaiser Racing has two Teams in two races which relieves a little of the stress compared to last year when both Teams ran the K300. Nik Wikstrand will leave a bit after 5:30pm and then Pete and his Team will leave at 7:00pm.
Every race day begins as every other day begins in a dog yard– Caring for the Team. Feeding, cleaning up, and making sure they are happy. Then it’s on to taking time for themselves. Mushers will try to relax just a bit as they know for the next couple of days, there will be little sleep to be had.
One thing I have noticed is how much more relaxed Pete is on race day compared to the early years. In the early years I think he second guessed himself just a bit and now he has a full system of things that have to happen. The entire Team, Ron, Janet, Bethany, and Nik all have specific things to do and it just gets done. Folks like myself, Rick and Kathy and other supporters also know what will happen and what is expected, so it is way different for us as well.
I stopped by the lonely Start Line that will be a flurry of activity for the next few days. Standing alone, like a sentinel awaiting sunrise, the Start Line won’t be lonely much longer. In fact Rick Hanson was down there prepping the start line by smoothing the snow to make it easier for Man and Dog.
This year the Start Line is upriver just a bit. It is not directly in front of Bethel. It is a nice location just East of the Bethel Boat Harbor entrance.
We will be posting as usual! Here are a few photos from the Start Line as well as Pete’s Setting Goals video.
Good Evening Race Fans!
Familiar faces and catching up with old friends. That’s the Kuskokwim 300 Musher Meeting and Race drawing. Excited to get going, we all met at the Longhouse Hotel to listen to Myron Angstman talk about trail conditions (Excellent) and the rules of the race. It was more lighthearted than most, more than likely due to the excellent mushing weather that we have in Bethel for the race. Unlike many races past, there is no rain or cold temperatures or even wind in the weather forecast. It is just nice!
Temperatures from zero to 15 above are forecast for race weekend, though a bit of wind will keep all of the athletes cool.The trail is not perfect as the great snow from several weeks ago was melted just a bit by a thaw a week ago. That being said, there is still snow and not glare ice that has been an issue before.
Kaiser Racing has two Teams competing this weekend. Pete and his Team are in the Kuskokwim 300, while Nik Wikstrand is in the Bogus Creek 150.
Looking back over the years, young men, such as Pete and Mike Williams Jr., who initially showed up at the drawing with friends, now bring their families complete with wives and kids. New challenges for the men as they combine family life with the daily routine of dog care and training. Little Ari, himself mushing a way smaller sled from time to time, is at the age of losing teeth and lost one at the drawing. A great memory for all of us to seen him proudly showing off the missing piece of his smile.
Pete selected Bib number 2 which will put him to the Starting Line in the first duo to leave.
Here are some photos from tonight’s festivities. As you can see as you peruse the slideshow, the best of the best have once again gathered to take part in the best dogsled race anywhere! Go Team Kaiser!
2019 Kuskokwim 300 Mushers
Race Calendar – Kaiser Racing Photo!!
See anyone familiar?? The musher is Pete!!
Welcome to 2019!
Many years, many miles, many races and I still get so excited for the first race of the season!
This year shows to be as good as any and Pete and the Team are ready to leave the Start chute and head out on the trail.