2017 Iditarod Finish – Peter Kaiser and the Team

It doesn’t get much better than rolling into Nome behind a great Team of dogs that you have lived with for over 8 days!

Traditionally, with Bob and Sherrie Madden as our host family, we get up and drive out about 4 miles out of Nome to be the first to greet Pete and the Team. Sometimes it is ultra-early and other times ultra-late. Today it was just right. Get up, have some coffee, Bob’s biscuits and gravy and head out in a leisurely pace to a beautiful bright morning.

It was about -10 as we made our way into the Finish Chute and a huge crowd of Fans showed up to welcome Pete and the Team under the famed burled arches and Pete’s 9th place victory. A cheer went up as he crossed the finish line and was welcomed by hugs from family and friends.

Pete and the Team had an official time on the trail of 8days 23hours 5minutes 38seconds. 3 hours off his best time last year, but a great running time overall. Pete was very upbeat and proud of his Team. They did really nicely although the finishing 10 dogs were split 50/50 veterans and rookies, he was very pleased with his performance.

After the Finish Line festivities is was off to the dog lot where Teams are checked by the Veterinary crew and snacks and loving from Team Kaiser. This year, Ari, Pete and Bethany’s little guy was helping every step of the way.

I have video to come, but for now, here are the photos from this morning’s Finish in Nome!

Finish in Sight – Race to the End!

Good Morning from Nome!

Pete and the Team have been running with Aliy Zirkle since being released from White Mountain early this morning just after midnight.

At this hour both Teams are out of Safety at 7:42 and 7:43 respectively with Aliy having a narrow lead.

The weather is cold, but the winds of last night have calmed a bit and conditions are pretty nice. We are expecting Pete and the Team across the Finish Line before 11am.

We will be there with photos and more!

Go Team Kaiser!

 

Richie Running for White Mountain

After a tough go of it, Richie Diehl and his Team are back on track and making for White Mountain. It was probably a bit discouraging for the Team as a whole, but he is now running nicely and just a couple of hours away from his 8 hour layover in White Mountain.

A good recharge and he will be off to meet a cheering group of fans here in Nome!

Go Richie Go!

Off for the Finish – Aliy in Hot Pursuit

Under a huge orange moon in White Mountain, Pete and the Team led Aliy Zirkle out onto the trail to Nome at 12:38am.

Closely matched, the Teams have been traveling together since Unalakleet. This should be a very exciting run into the Finish for those of us that are watching, but really, the Teams will do what they will do and both Mushers, after an 8 hour break are ready to reach the Finish Line and a nice warm bed.

Expect an 8 to 9 hour run into Nome, so at this point we are expecting a finish between 9am and 10am. We will update you as soon as we get a bit closer.

See ya early in the morning!

Go Team Kaiser!

Rest for a Minute! Into White Mountain

The 2017 Iditarod started in Fairbanks a bit over 10,000 minutes ago. Yes- 10,000!

And it came down to ONE minute into the 8 hour break in White Mountain for Pete Kaiser and the Team. That’s how much of a lead over Aliy Zirkle.

Pete and the Team were into White Mountain at 4:38pm followed by Aliy Zirkle at 4:39pm. Both Teams will be able to leave the checkpoint for Nome in 8 hours at 12:38 and 12:39am for the 77 mile run to the Finish Line. They are pretty evenly matched, so it will be a long night for Kaiser Fans tonight.

Michelle Phillips must have had some trouble on the trail and made it about halfway to White Mountain and stopped to rest. She had been traveling very nicely all the way from Unalakleet just on Pete’s heels. The same thing happened to Richie Diehl just out of Elim. 4 miles after leaving Elim with no break, Richie had some trouble with a leader and had to turn around and go back into the checkpoint to rest the team.

Michelle and Richie are now moving again and making their way towards White Mountain. We feel for both Teams as we saw our own Pete Kaiser have a similar problem in 2015 in Koyuk. It is a bit discouraging to see Team after Team go by, but a Musher has to see the bigger picture and just keep everything in perspective. In the end, the Finish is the accomplishment, and sometimes there comes a time where Racing goes away and just completing the Iditarod is the final reward.

Team Kaiser Pit Crew just landed in Nome and we are feasting on fresh Norton Sound Red King Crab for Dinner (I know– It’s a tough life!) courtesy of our great Host Family Bob and Sherrie Madden. I told Bob, “I’m Home in Nome!” We’ve been so lucky to be their guests for 8 years!

 

Real Diehl Update – It ain’t over yet!

√§Update 2- Richie Turned back to Elim for a break. He’s a great dog driver and he must have decided that he needed a bit more time. Great job Richie!

An update to my previous postings…

I was wondering about Paul Gebhardt and Richie Diehl who have been duking it out since Koyuk. Well, wouldn’t you know it, both Teams blew through Elim and are intent on their own plan for the Top 10.

Tomorrow Morning is going to be very exciting with these 6 Teams vying to best each other.

Richie has a pretty fast Team and his first Top 10 Finish is in sight 8 miles up the Trail!

GO Team Diehl!

Now THIS is a Sled Dog RACE!

If anyone ever tells you that long distance sled dog racing isn’t competitive, they need to look at what’s happening in Elim this morning! While all eyes are on Mitch Seavey at the front, the ACTION is for the Top 10!

Ray Redington arrives into Elim at 7:14am with a 26 minute lead over Aliy Zirkle who arrives at 7:40am. Pete and the Team arrive just 32 minutes after Aliy at 8:12am with Michelle Phillips just 11 minutes behind Pete at 8:23am.

Ray drops a dog after a 2:38 break and returns to the trail at 9:52am, but Aliy takes off with him out of Elim just a minute later. Pete sees the action and he breaks out as well at 10:05 with Michelle in hot pursuit at 10:23am.

This is SO EXCITING! Basically all of the differentials have been erased and now its a Race to White Mountain and an 8 hour rest.

These 4 teams are pretty evenly matched with Ray having the slightly faster Team, but Pete, Aliy, and Michelle are paw to paw equals in terms of speed. They have been traveling together since Unalakleet and pretty much have the equal speed between them.

SO FUN! With a 5-6 hour run time to White Mountain, it’s going to be all hands on the refresh button to see how it turns out!

Team Kaiser Pit Crew are leaving on the Noon jet to Anchorage to connect with the 4pm flight to Nome.¬† Hopefully we won’t miss too much of it!

THIS is FUN! Go Team Kaiser!