And They’re Off! No Rest for the Weary!


White Mountain – 2012 during the Day

Never say never! Bethany and I were watching the tracker one last time before turning the computers off for the evening and what do we see?? Mr. Kaiser has got another plan brewing. Pete and the Team are in and out of Elim and back out on the trail!

Pete trains 100 mile runs regularly and when the Team wants to go, he lets them. In this case, they must be on fire as they are burning up the trail on the way to White Mountain.

Teams on the trail better look over their shoulder– There’s a freight train behind them and it’s name is Team Kaiser!

Go Team Kaiser!!

Golovin Weather – Temperature 12F – Wind West 10knot – Visibility 10 miles – Mostly cloudy.

Trail Description to White Mountain:

This is one of the more interesting legs on the race, with quite a variety of trail and terrain in a very short distance. Moreover, there is always a possibility of two extremely different routes for the first ten miles. The race follows the main snowmachine “highway” from Elim to Golovin and it is usually well marked and packed.

The trail usually heads back out on the sea ice from Elim and runs a mile or two offshore to a cabin at Walla Walla, on the coast eight miles south of Elim. In some years, when there is open water just off shore, the traill will stay overland on the Old Elim Mail Trail.

At Walla Walla, the trail rurns inland and climbs over the Kwiktalik Mountains with a series of long, moderately hard grades. The final summit is 1,000 feet at Little McKinley, about eight miles past Walla Walla and ten miles from Golovin. This is considered the hardest climb on the last half of the race.

The trail then makes a fast descent to Golovin Bay, running northwest along the bay ice for the last five miles to Golovnin. (The bay was first explored by Captain Gloving of the Imperial Russian Navy in the early 1800’s. The bay and lagoon behind the town retain the original spelling; the town’s name ha been changed over the years.)

Plan on three to four hours for this leg. If the weather is bad, the trip over the mountain can be a long, hard one because it is almost all above timberline and exposed to the wind. The trail over Little McKinley can range from icy and windswept to soft and punchy.

After Golovin:

This is normally a yawner (unless the wind is blowing or it’s snowing). The trail follows the main snowmachine route, running straight as an arrow for ten miles across Golovnin Lagoon, then winding gently around (with some gentle ups and downs) to cross the delta of the Fish River. The last few miles are on the river. There is sometimes overflow on the lagoon or river. Plan on two hours for the trip, perhaps three if the wind is blowing.

Kaiser Racing Radio – Race or Run? How to Keep Going


Our Final Kaiser Racing Radio for the 2105 Iditarod. After today’s long break in Koyuk, we talk about the thought process of a musher when things go sour. We also talk about the future of mushing. How do we keep this sport alive? How do we get young mushers to enter this sport. Good conversation for the last one! Thanks to Myron Angstman for allowing me to pick his brain!

Sometimes You Take a Timeout! After a Break Team Kaiser is Underway!

Sometimes you got to take a break. 4th down and it all falls apart, what do you do? You take a timeout!

Pete and the Team are now underway and once they arrive into Nome we will hear all about it. For now we are very happy that he was able to continue. Obviously Pete saw something that we can’t see. Team care is at the top of everything Pete thinks about. Today was definitely tough to watch for Kaiser Racing Fans, but it is all part of the program.

Pete sees each race as an opportunity. Ideally it is to win a race or do well, but ultimately it is about the program. I have heard Pete say several times in this race that this is a very young Team. At this point in the race, Pete is not thinking about position, he is thinking about the future of the Team and what the balance of this race can do for the training of this Team. Whatever he saw or didn’t see today in Koyuk, he needed to deal with it and waiting it out was probably the best thing for all involved.

It also probably helped to have a few friendly faces, such as John Baker and Richie Diehl, that gave him some encouragement as well.

Pete and the Team are underway at just after 5pm this evening. 11 dogs are in harness and they are moving along nicely. That is GREAT News! Go Team Kaiser!!

Weather in Nome is downright beautiful! What a nice evening to give Pete and the Team some encouragement.

Make sure to tune in to tonight’s Kaiser Racing Radio- Last Show for the Iditarod.

Elim Weather- Temperature 21F – NE Wind at 9knots – Overcast Skies – 10miles Visibility
White Mountain Weather – Temperature 16F – North Wind at 9knots – Partly Cloudy – 10miles Visibility

307 PM AKDT TUE MAR 17 2015


Early Morning in Koyuk – Tough Trail on the Northern Coast



Pete and the Team were into Koyuk early this morning at 4:02am after spending a bit over 8 hours on the trail from Shaktoolik last night. Followed closely by Ken Anderson, Team Kaiser arrived in 9th position.

Things look a bit less optimistic on the trail to the West from Koyuk this morning. Teams are struggling and trail times show it. Last year Dallas Seavey took 5 and a half hours to make the trip to Elim from Koyuk. Last night’s journey took almost 2 hours longer and other teams are making the trip in over 8 hours. Currently Dallas and his Team are half-way between Elim and White Mountain and it is looking like they will be close to the trail time of Mike Williams Jr. last year. Kaiser Fans will remember last year Mike Jr. set out from Elim in a horrible storm with near Hurricane force winds on one of the worst trails in history. Glare ice and craziness had musher scratching and clawing to move forward over Golovin Bay.

Something is up on that trail this morning, also known for unexpected winds and “blow holes” along the way.  Forecast is calling for fog so visibility could be the factor.

Surely Pete will be watching these times once he awakes from his rest period later this morning. I am expecting a 6-8 hour break before Team Kaiser returns to the trail.

Mushing Weather Forecast for today:

259 AM AKDT TUE MAR 17 2015


“We Can’t Go Anywhere!” Stopped on the Trail to Shaktoolik

Insider captures what we have all been speculating about. Wrong place at the wrong time had Pete and Wade Mars walking their Leaders after running into a non-existent trail. After looking and not gaining any ground, they finally found a band of trees that could protect the Teams and bed down until they could see anything. Pete and Wade sound in good spirits after their ordeal which cost them positions, but made it safely to Shaktoolik. Good Job Men! Listen in:

Kaiser Racing Radio – What DOES A Musher Think About for 1000 Miles?


Kaiser Racing Radio Day 8 Episode- A week ago we were watching Pete and the Team pass through Nenana and then we parted company as we drove south and Pete and the Team headed West on the Trail to Nome. In tonight’s episode we talk about the Seavey’s, Tourism Mushing Programs, and what a musher thinks about for 1000 miles on the trail to Nome. Fun stuff- Listen In!!

Go Team Kaiser!

From the Gangline – Who to Cheer For


Myron Angstman

There is nothing worse for a dog race fan than to have a long race decided early. The unusual experience of watching an event unfold from afar for eight or nine days, non-stop, and at a very slow pace creates a level of suspense or drama that is best served by a close finish, hopefully involving a team or two among the favorites of the fan doing the watching. There is not likely to be a close finish in this year’s Iditarod.  Dallas Seavey was described as the team to beat  a couple of days ago here, and that has now become ever more clear as he has seriously out gunned his closest competition in the last two days.  He set off from Koyuk this evening with more than an hour lead, and ample speed to stretch that lead.

It is a dog race, and there are numerous things that could yet go wrong, but it would take a major turn of events for Dallas to finish any place but first.  This comes from a guy who called last year’s race for Jeff King hours before he withdrew from the race. But King encountered weather that is not likely to repeat itself, in fact there is a forecast of nice weather all the way to Nome. Dallas is in line to win his third race and establish himself as the team to beat for years to come.

Some race fans will not be happy with that result.  There are many reasons to cheer for a certain team or teams, and I thought it would be helpful to explain how I pick a team to pull for in the Iditarod. Its fairly complicated.  First, I like to pull for the underdog,  and that usually means someone who has not won the race before. It is likely better for the race, and for the sport, to have a new face emerge as winner as often as possible. Second  I like to cheer for rural Alaskan teams, because of a common bond rural people share.  There are only a few rural teams, so that narrows things a bit. I also like to cheer for teams that have  a history with the Kuskokwim 300, our home town race and one which has been my favorite since I helped start it in 1980.  The rural racers tend to all have a K300 history, so that part is easy, but I also tend to favor those racers from outside rural Alaska who take part in the K300 and speak well of our race wherever they go. Finally I naturally favor our local racers, and that definition  includes anyone from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

That list resulted in a handful of favorites, none of which are going to win.  The one with the best chance, Aaron Burmeister, looks to fall just a bit short, likely in the top five for sure.  Another with a good chance, Pete Kaiser, is driving a nice bunch of dogs,  good enough to win the Kuskokwim 300 this year, but in his view not seasoned enough to compete at the end of the Iditarod just yet.  He is now battling to make the top ten. Other favorites like Richie Diehl and John Baker are a bit further back but still in line to get a pay check, while Katherine Keith and Chuck Schaeffer are in the middle of the pack.  One more personal favorite Paul Gebhardt, will not win, but has come on strong in the last two days, and is now gunning for a top ten finish as well.  I cheer for Paul because of his long history with the K300, and the fact that he is from Minnesota.  He always claims the K300 is his favorite race, and has now become a fishing buddy.

Distant readers may not be aware of the fact that most teams in the Iditarod enter without any realistic chance of winning, in fact most who start know they are not likely to finish in the money (Top 30). But still they take part, training all winter, feeding and equipping a team, paying a huge entry fee and considerable freight expenses to be on the trail on many days that can be described as uncomfortable  at best.  Throw in lack of sleep and physical exertion and a reader might start to question why folks take part.  To fully understand that you would have to experience the sight of Nome, Alaska, at night, 10 miles ahead as you top a rise and realize that after a thousand mile struggle across Alaska the end is actually in sight.

Myron Angstman is a veteran of the Iditarod and past champion of the Kuskokwim 300 and John Beargrease sled dog races.  He practices law in Bethel, Alaska. For more dog race stuff, check his website at