Inbound to Bethel – Breaktime Awaits

Good Morning Race Fans!

Teams are headed into the halfway point of Bethel led by 2021 Bogus Creek Winner Richie Diehl. Mushing weather is absolutely beautiful with light winds, nice temperatures and great competition. Just a few miles behind Richie is Nic Petit, with 2020 K300 Champ Matt Failor and our own 5 time Champ Pete Kaiser about 8 miles behind them.

This year’s race is way off the rails in terms of a “normal” K300 with great temperatures and conditions in addition to the Covid 19 Race Course. Other changes are in terms of layover rest. A traditional race mandates that Teams must have 6 hours of rest in the checkpoints of Kalskag on the way up, Aniak, or Kalskag on the way down. Teams can “spend” their rest in any configuration as long as it adds up to 6 hours. Finally, on a “normal” race, Teams have a vet check and mandatory 4 hour rest before heading to the Finish Line.

This year, with a change to the race course, the layover rules are also different. It’s a bit confusing, but here goes–

Teams will pass through the Tuluksak checkpoint 4 times.

  1. Tuluksak 1- On the first loop to Bogus Creek.
  2. Tuluksak 2- Coming down from Bogus Creek on the way to the halfway Bethel Checkpoint
  3. Tuluksak 3- Headed back up to Bogus Creek and the “second lap”
  4. Tuluksak 4- Coming back down from Bogus Creek on the way to the Finish Line.

Teams can “spend” their rest, or split it up, between Tuluksak 2, Bethel Halfway, or Tuluksak 3.

One the way down from Bogus Creek, Tuluksak 4, Teams will be required to have the mandatory 4 hour layover and vet check.

Some Teams have already taken some layover time in Tuluksak 2, while Richie, Nic, Matt, and Pete have decided to make the run all the way into Bethel. This would be similar to a run all the way to Aniak on a traditional course.

Teams will be sequestered from the Public near the Bethel Fitness Center. The public is not allowed in the building and is encouraged to watch from a distance.

Richie and Nic should be in Bethel soon and Matt and Pete probably an hour behind.

It’s looking like a great race. Winds have been predicted to increase from the Northeast, but so far we have a reprieve!

Go Team Kaiser!!

 

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21 K300 Underway

Pete and the Team leaving Bethel.

What a great Start! I have been covering dog races for many years and you just don’t get calm winds, warm temps (but not too warm!) and a relaxed atmosphere.

The crowd started forming about 5:30 and by 6:00pm there were at least 100 vehicles lined up to see the mass Start of the 2021 Kuskokwim 300. In a Mass Start, mushers watch the starting flag and when it drops, away they go! We got to see how it would work during the Bogus Creek 150 and the only thing missing in this race was the sun.

My how the daylight is increasing! Usually the K300 starts on the third Friday of January or so and at 6:30 it is pretty dark. Add a few weeks and the change was dramatic.

The Starting Line of a dogsled race is really a celebration in many ways. After months of hard work and a summer of tending the Team, mushers and dogs alike are ready to show their stuff. For support crews it’s the culmination of lots of time and energy and once the Teams leave it’s BREAK TIME!! I’m sure that’s why each year, just after Teams have left fans are treated to an amazing Fireworks show put on by the Kuskokwim 300 race committee.

A few noteables from the Starting line-

  1. Our friend Josh Cadzow is back in Bethel to try his luck on the race course. Josh is an amazing musher from Fort Yukon. Thanks to his family, he was able to travel here to compete. Welcome back!
  2. Our most awesome Host Family, the Maddens, have sent down Reese Madden to try his luck as well. “I’m a little short handed, but I’m here to give it a go!” said Reese. I imagine Bob and Sherrie will be tuned in to check out his progress! Welcome as well!
  3. This last noteable is a really big one– Master Ari Kaiser, who has spent his whole life as part of the Kaiser Race Team is now promoted to lead poop scooper! AWESOME!! We have followed young Mr. Kaiser’s progress each year and I personally get to spend time with him during the races. Some day we will be able to say we saw it first. Bottom rung on the ladder always starts with dog poop in a Race Team, but we hope to see great things from this young man!! Way to go Ari! Thanks from the Team!!

Here are the photos from tonight’s festivities. It should be a pretty great race. Pete said he had been expecting a slow trail after all of the snow we just had, but then a warm spell and a bit of rain hardened the trail and may make rather speedy. We shall see!

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2021 K300 Team Kaiser

I’m alway’s asked, “Who’s in the Team?” (I always refer to the “Team” capitalized on purpose- after all, they are the stars of the show)

But by the time I think about it, they are long gone and making their way up the trail.

This year, I got a list for you! Kaiser Fans will recognize many names as this bunch is a pretty experienced group of dogs! Go Team Kaiser!

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2021 Kuskokwim 300 Day!

K300 Starting Line – 2021

It’s late, but its ON!

I just got off the phone with Pete and he’s pretty excited to get on the trail. The 2021 Trail (description here) is changed, but the competition is hot as always! I just got back from the Start line and it looks great. I saw Jeff King setting up his sled, “Hey, Hey! Jeff King! Welcome to Bethel!” “Hey John!” He looked relaxed and said that snow and not too cold temps looked like fun!

As per usual, Pete Kaiser does a great job explaining what’s happening this year.

Here’s this year’s group of mushers. Like the Bogus Creek 150, the Teams will all leave in mass start. In other words at 6:30, the flag will drop and away they will go. It was super fun to watch for the Bogus Creek and I expect the same this evening.

1 – Dennis Kananowicz
2 – Dave Turner
3 – Pete Kaiser
4 – Jessica Klejka
5 – Aaron Peck
6 – Richie Diehl
7 – Matthew Failor
8 – Jeff King
9 – Joshua Cadzow
10 – Reese Madden
11 – Isaac Underwood
12 – Robert Redington
13 – Nate DeHaan
14 – Lewis Pavila
15 – Father Alexander Larson
16 – Nicolas Petit

Bib numbers are in the order of registration. Check out the Bio’s Here!

The weather is great, but a reminder that Covid-19 is on the prowl, so keep social distancing and enjoy the race. Here are the Kuskokwim 300 tips for watching the race, but as always, stay tuned to Kaiser Racing for updates from our perspective.

Go Team Kaiser!!

 

 

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