Into Elim – Will He Stay of Will He Go Go?

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Wow! What a Great Run!

Pete and the Team are into Elim in just over 5 hours– A full hour faster than the Teams ahead! That is really cruising for sure! It’s a beautiful day on the Southern Coast this morning and it must have been a sight to behold to see the Team in full Race Mode. If its anything like yesterday in Nulato, Team Kaiser is chompin’ at the bit for more!

The question of the day is whether Pete will head on out for White Mountain or rest a few in Elim. Competition is tight and a mandatory 8 hour layover awaits in White Mountain. It’s hard to say what will happen! Stay Tuned!

Go Team Kaiser!

Early Morning on the Trail to Elim

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After a real nice run into Koyuk last night, Pete and the Team took almost a 5 hour break and were off for Elim this morning at just before 7am. Continuing with his full contingent of 12 dogs, the trip over to Elim should take between 6 and a half to 7 hours to complete.

Pete is pretty solidly in 6th position after leading Joar Liefseth-Ulsom and Noah Burmeister over the ice into Koyuk last night. A very respectable 6h 54m run in from Shaktoolik seems to mean that Team Kaiser is holding pretty good speed at this point in the race.

In terms of the leader, it is looking like Dallas Seavey may be the Team to beat again this year. Dallas left Koyuk almost 12 hours in front of Pete and the Team, but took a good break on the trail last night, so effectively is about 9 hours ahead of Pete.  Wade Mars is about 14 miles in front of Pete at this time with Joar about 7 miles behind.

Today should be a real nice day, but a bit breezy. I don’t think it will be anything near what Mushers experienced last year through the “blowhole” in terms of the 60-70mph winds, but it may be a bit breezy and cool.

Today’s Mushing Weather-

...NOME...WHITE MOUNTAIN...GOLOVIN
.TODAY...SUNNY. HIGHS IN THE LOWER TEENS. NORTH WINDS 10 TO 20 MPH.
.TONIGHT...MOSTLY CLEAR. LOWS AROUND 6 BELOW. NORTH WINDS AROUND
10 MPH. 

...ELIM...KOYUK...SHAKTOOLIK
.TODAY...SUNNY. AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW IN THE MORNING. HIGHS 6 TO
14 ABOVE. NORTHEAST WINDS 15 TO 25 MPH.

 

Go North Young Man!

After a bit over 3 hours rest in Shaktoolik, Pete and the Team are headed North for an evening trek up to Koyuk.

This section of the trail is probably the most mental challenging section of the race. Once Pete and the Team head out onto the ice, it may as well be the ocean. Once Teams leave the trail onto the ice it is 25 miles until they reach the other side. It can feel like a treadmill as the coast just doesn’t seem to move or come closer.

For Pete, it will all happen as the sun sets this evening. It should be a beautiful ride, but it will also be a bit chilly and very windy.

Pete is leaving out our Skaktoolik in 6th position.

In terms of expectation this evening, Mitch is going to have the fastest time to Koyuk from Shaktoolik thus far at between 6:30-7:00 hours. A similar speed from Pete and the Team should put them into Koyuk between 2:00am and 3:00am tomorrow morning.

One of Pete’s funnier trail stories came on this run several years back. Pete and Mitch had left out of of Shaktoolik on the way to Koyuk during the night. Pete tells that he could see Mitch’s light in front of him in the distance for hours. Then all of a sudden the light was gone. “Hmmm…” he thought, “Wonder where he went.” So he runs into Koyuk and no Mitch. A bit later Mitch comes into Koyuk and after they meet up later, Mitch tells Pete, “I hollered Hello, and you went right on by.” Pete had been TOTALLY ASLEEP! Totally missed it!

Sebastian Schnuelle heard the story and in his accent laughed and laughed. “Oh boy! It’s pretty bad to get passed in the middle of the night. But it’s REALLY bad to be passed by someone totally asleep!”

I smile every time I think of this story and this trail.

Current Conditions-

Shaktoolik-
Temperature: -12°C (10.4°F)
Winds: N (010 degrees) at 33.4 mph (29 knots: 14.9 m/s)
Visibility: 10 mile(s)

Koyuk-
Temperature:-13°C (8.6°F)
Winds: N (010 degrees) at 12.7 mph (11 knots: 5.7 m/s) gusting to 21.9 mph (19 knots: 9.8 m/s)
Visibility: 10 mile(s)

Mushing weather for this evening-

EASTERN NORTON SOUND AND NULATO HILLS-
INCLUDING...UNALAKLEET...STEBBINS...ST MICHAEL...ELIM...KOYUK...
SHAKTOOLIK
626 PM AKDT SUN MAR 13 2016

.TONIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY. AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW. LOWS 5 BELOW TO
5 ABOVE. NORTHEAST WINDS 15 TO 25 MPH. LOCAL GUSTS TO 35 MPH. 
.MONDAY...SUNNY. AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW. HIGHS 5 TO 15 ABOVE.
NORTHEAST WINDS 15 TO 25 MPH. LOCAL GUSTS TO 30 MPH.

 

Home is where the Heart is – But sometimes…

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Host Families RULE! Thank You Bob, Josie, Doug and Everyone that has Hosted Kaiser Racing!

Tomorrow the Team Kaiser pit crew will head up to Nome to cheer Pete and the Team across the Finish line. Every time we make this journey I think about the kindness of the folks that open their homes for mushers and crews.

For us, Bob Madden and his wife Sherrie have made our home away from home for the last several years. This year we add the kindness of Josie Stiles for a place to stay as we overloaded Bob and his wife. When Pete and the Team are near Anchorage, Doug Dorland’s place becomes Kaiser Central. Over the years Pete and the Team have stayed with so many nice folks that have helped out and really made their places our Homes Away from Home.

Folks– Bottom line is that we can’t begin to express how thankful we are for allowing us to camp out in your corner. I don’t know how many times I heard Bob tell me, “Make yourself at home.” He whips up some big meal or another that is always delicious. One year I remember especially, it was about 3:30am or so and Bob says, “I’ll have breakfast on at 4:30.” I was thinking. Really? Well– REALLY! A monster meal of homemade biscuits and gravy, crab, eggs– The works! Last year it was Bob’s famous beans and home smoked ham. Each year we move in and get in people’s way and stay up late waiting for Pete and the Team and Bob and Sherrie keep on smiling!

Each year after the Willow Restart, we feast on Home-Made pizza and all kinds of goodies that Doug has whipped up for the occasion. It’s become really another time of the year we look forward to.

Each year as we get ready to make our move to Nome, I can’t help but get a bit excited to see old friends and just wanted to take a moment to say “Thanks!” in advance! We really truly appreciate your kindness!

Go Team Kaiser!

Making Time – Into Shaktoolik

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Pete and the Team leaving Unalakleet Sunday Morning

Pete and the Team left Unalakleet over an hour behind Noah Burmeister but is going to arrive into Shaktoolik just after his training partner from Nenana. Pete and the Team have spent quite a bit of time with the Burmeisters and this year Pete’s “North 40” is just down the road from Noah.

Conditions in Shaktoolik are a bit breezy with winds in the 30mph right on the Nose. It’s going to be a long afternoon into the mirages of the Bering Sea as they make their way towards Koyuk. I’m expecting a break here in Shaktoolik before returning to the trail. After last year’s drama with Wade Mars, I’m sure Pete is having flashbacks of losing the trail and is surely glad that it is clear and windy vs snowy and a blizzard. Read “We can’t go Anywhere.” from last year.

Meanwhile in Unalakleet, Richie arrived just after 1pm and is planning to take a break before heading North. His Iditarider, Vicki says that Richie and the Team look great and sent us a few photos-