Playing with Stats – K300 Day 2 – Who’s the Fastest?

Good afternoon Race Fans!!

It’s quite a race we have going upriver from Bethel. Teams are stretched out for many miles, but layover times and other factors are still at play.

Speaking of playing, one of the tools we have in our speculation toolbox is what TrackLeaders calls Raceflow. This is a really great tool to see who is gaining and who is losing over the course of a race. Most people don’t look at it, but I’d encourage you to take a look.

It’s a bit confusing, but here’s how it goes. The Teams are sorted as to their position. Each Team has a line that corresponds to their location on the course, but also their speed. As you look at lines close together, that means that Teams are close on the racecourse. As lines converge, for example a lower line starts to run over another line on top of it, that means one Team is overtaking another.

If you zoom in to the lines you can start to see as Teams start to falter or which ones, maybe after a break, get faster.

In the case of this Race, you can just see a bit of difference between the Team lines. They aren’t parallel to each other.

So for good old fun, I make parallel lines on each Team and then sorted them to see which Teams are faster than the other.

What I am finding is that Matt Failor’s Team is really the jackrabbit on the course. His speeds are steady and fastest over the course. Second, and only by just a little is Pete and the Team.

Take a look and see for yourself. It is great fun to analyze. The second year Pete won the K300, the second place Team, Brent Sass was converging quickly. If the race would have been a few miles more, he would have caught Pete and lost by only 8 minutes!!

See that year (2016) by clicking the thumbnail

Take a look at this year’s raceflow and the parallel lines I just created. It’s still anyone’s race!



2019 Bogus Creek 150 – Nik Wikstrand 3rd Place

Niklas and the Team crossed the Finish Line this morning, January 19, at 9:58am, 21 minutes behind the Champion Jason Pavila. He was pretty hard on himself over getting off the trail as he knew it cost him the race. After getting back on track, Nik was able to move into 3rd place and had the race gone another 50 miles or so, he would have caught the leader. But there are no do-overs in racing, so he is very satisfied with his finish and had nothing but great things to say about the dogs.

The next thing on his agenda is prepping for Iditarod. Congratulations Nik! Fine Job!

Go Team Kaiser!!

Congratulations! Jason Pavila and Max Olick!

The youngest musher ever to win the Bogus Creek 150 crossed the line with a fine team at 9:37am with 9 dogs. The story doesn’t end there, however. Jason Pavila may be the youngest musher, but a tearful father, Lewis, and so proud Team owner, Max Olick, have been teaming up to win races for many years. I asked Max, “How many is this for you?” He replied, “I don’t know, several…”

Haha! Several! Lewis Pavila has won the race riding those same runners that his son burned up the trail with on this run. Jason made great time and held off other experienced mushers including second place veteran George Manutoli.

There were smiles all around this morning to celebrate the changing of the guard. I wondered out loud if this might be a trend. Fast kennels with young men driving that are fast, smart, and strong!

Congratulations Jason! Great Race and we hope to see you doing this again!

First to Aniak

Thank You Aniak!!

Pete and the Team were first into the Halfway checkpoint of Aniak this morning at 9:02, just minutes before the youngest Musher to win the Bogus Creek 150, Jason Pavila, crossed the finish line at 9:37 (More on that later)

Pete was welcomed into Aniak by a large group of fans and spectators and a new halfway prize donated by the Community of Aniak. For being first into the checkpoint, Pete was awarded a suncatcher, a nice set of gloves, and a beautiful mask. Thank You Aniak!!

Pete is sticking to his 2-2-2 schedule that is seeing other mushers do different schedules. Musher Matt Failor didn’t stop at the checkpoint and is now leading Teams around the Whitefish loop back to Kalskag. Weather is absolutely perfect, so it’s a matter of dog care and health as the race progresses.

All of the top 5 Teams into Aniak have similar enroute times except for Failor, who was about 10 minutes faster.

It’s going to be a long night of guessing who will come out on top as anything can happen in dogsled mushing!!

Go Team Kaiser! Thanks again Aniak, and Thanks Kids for the AWESOME signs!


2019 Bogus Update – Making Up Lost Time

Every musher has it. That one memory that will burn in infamy…  Pete has his Pop Tart, Nik will have the Gweek trail.

Every musher has that moment, that small mistake, that if they could just take it back, the outcome would have been way different. We don’t talk about it much, but those memories are still out there.

After getting off the trail early, Nik and the Team are running with the fastest time on the trail. In 3rd place chasing the two front runners, can he do it??

Nik and the Team are running at a 11mph pace and they have 5 miles to make up. It’s going to be tough, but anything could happen.

Estimating the finish at 10ish, but I’m heading down about 9:30 just to make sure!!

We all have to be proud of Jason Pavila though. He is the youngest musher in the race at 15 years old!! His dad, Lewis Pavila, many time winner of all kind of races including the Bogus, must be beaming from ear to ear!

It’s going to be an exciting day, so grab a cup of coffee and Go Team Kaiser!!

Strategy on the Upper Kuskokwim – Pete Out First to Aniak

Good Morning Race Fans! Whew! What is happening up on the upper trail??

Pete and the Team were 6th into Kalskag, but after a 2 hour layover and the starting position adjustment of 16 minutes, were back onto the trail for Aniak. Other Teams are taking 3 hour layovers and before heading off in pursuit of Team Kaiser.

This may be a real good strategy with this good weather allowing him to take the two hours for a snack/break at the checkpoint and spread out the mandatory 6 hour rest, 2 hours per checkpoint. The rule is that Teams must take 6 hours between arriving in Kalskag on the way up and leaving Kalskag on the way down. A Team could take it all at once in one of the locations, but Pete’s a smart cookie and realizing that he has to snack anyway, so taking the breaks 2 hours per checkpoint might be a great strategy. I love this part of the race because we really don’t know the leader until Teams leave Kalskag and we get to see the musher’s play their game in front of us.

Here are a few stats for you. Tuluksak Position and Kalskag Position leaderboards. Also Check out the realtime leaderboard

Team Position Tuluksak UP

Kalskag IN Position

2019 K300 Pete Kaiser Startline Photos

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!!