Lead Dog Sponsor Spotlight – Donlin Gold

Thanks Donlin Gold!

Donlin Gold has been a supporter of Pete and the Team for several years and their encouragement to Mushing in general has been outstanding. All of the folks at Donlin Gold have been great Fans as well and helped out so much.

They are with us during Training, at the Starting Line, and always the Finish Line. All of the great Donlin Staff have not only been Sponsors, but also great fans as well!

We appreciate not only the support of Kaiser Racing, but in keeping Mushing alive by sponsoring the Iditarod and the Kuskokwim 300. It is support like this that keeps the sport and traditions alive! Thanks Donlin Gold! We truly appreciate having you as our Lead Dod SponsorĀ of the Team!

Sponsor Spotlight – Lead Dog Sponsor – Ryan Air

Lee and his lovely wife Chelsea. Thanks Ryan Air!

Ryan Air has been the Kaiser Racing Kennel Lead Dog Sponsor since the beginning. Boyuk and Lee Ryan have been so supportive in all of Team Kaiser’s events. In addition to being the Lead Dog sponsor, Ryan Air also transports the Team from Nome and many other races. We are so grateful for the support of Ryan Air– Leader of the Team of Sponsors!

Thank You so Much Ryan Air!

Ryan Air serves all of Alaska and supports directly the following locations:

ryanair1

Pete Through Nenana

After a 2 hour break on the river, Pete and the Team rushed through the Nenana checkpoint looking really nice. The Team was barking and ready to go. We don’t get to see many checkpoints, so it is a joy to watch. In this case though, Pete was in and out before we got used to the idea at 7:30pm.

He grabbed a bale of straw and a bag of food and was off into the night.

Tonight’s run up to Manley is reported to be a bit soft and its going to be cold– Possibly the coldest night of the race. It will be an 80 mile run through the night for Pete and the Team. Tomorrow it is the Mighty Yukon, Pete’s home for the next several nights.

Mushing Weather Forecast-
Partly cloudy, with a low around -29. Wind chill values as low as -40. Calm wind becoming north around 5 mph.

See Ya in the Morning!

Scenes from Nenana

For the run up to Manley, it looks like Pete is going to break it up into thirds. So instead of breaking in Nenana, Pete took a break about 9 miles before the checkpoint. As we waited for Pete and the Team, quite a few teams came into the checkpoint and took their break. Here is a view from the action in Nenana!

 

Willow 300 2017 In the Books

The inaugural Willow 300 seems to have been a success. There is much to learn for the organizers, but spirits are high and many spoke of wanting to see it happen again.

For Pete and Nik, it was not to place as much to put some miles on the Teams, get Nik an Iditarod qualifier, and get the Teams exposed to other Teams before the Iditarod. I asked Pete about it and it just comes down to exposure, he said. Without exposure to other Teams and germs, dogs can fall ill just like kids do when they first go to school each year. Like I’ve said so many times, Pete is pretty much “Doggy Yoda” and is always considering all of these small details for the success of his Teams.

For Nik, this was a grand experience. A bit more race experience under his belt as well as many more miles on the Team. He is growing to be a fine musher and dog handler. He too possesses some “Yoda” traits of his own. His calm manner is very fun to watch as he moves from animal to animal. Watching them respond to him tells you in a minute this is something special.

The weather was good and the football game was dramatic. What more could you ask for this weekend? Here are the finish photos. Thanks to the checker gals for sticking around for each Finish!

Go Team Kaiser!

Willow 300 – Two for the Trail

Pete and Nik are on the trail together on the way to the Finish Line 32 miles away in Willow. With the race won and a nice day in sight, Pete took it easy waiting for Nik’s 6 hour layover to complete. It is pretty unusual to see both Teams side by side in a checkpoint, so it was truly a joy to see 20 members of Team Kaiser ready for the trail.

Both men caressed the feet of the sleeping Team before bootying them up, hooking up the lines and making their way out of the checkpoint. The sounds of barking Team Kaiser is quite a melody, but pair the two teams and it is almost an orchestra!

The weather is absolutely beautiful and the 3 hour run towards Willow should be a real nice rice. Leaving the boisterous crowd watching the Super Bowl in the Lodge, Pete and Nik are now one on one in their own sport of dogsled mushing. The sounds of the runners matched with 40 something paws making their way down the trail is surely a welcome change. For mushing is a solitary sport and the silence of the trail is surely a welcome reward.

The Pit Crew will be heading down towards Willow to meet them at the Finish line, so stay tuned for those photos as well.

Go Team Kaiser!

Here are Pete, Nik, and the Teams heading out of Sheep Creek Lodge:

 

Willow 300 – Sheep Creek Morning – Wait and Watch

After a long night on the Trail, Pete and the Team got into Sheep Creek Lodge at just after 6am. He was met by the Kaiser Pit Crew who had a warm cabin reserved for Pete and straw and a meal for the Team.

I left Anchorage on the way to meet up with the crew after a long night of updates for the Willow 300. We chipped in to help with the Leaderboard when that portion was left a little in the air. As I sped up to the Lodge, Nik and his Team were on the move as well from Deshka landing and I was totally afeared that I wouldn’t make it in time. It was such a pretty morning for the drive and after speaking with Nik, even better on the trail. Denali was such a pretty rose color as the sun peaked over the mountains, so majestic as it oversaw the musher’s morning.

I made it time and Nik arrived in great spirits. He was tired, but got right to work looking after his dogs. They looked great on the way in and Nik and Pete had almost identical times in from Yentna and Deshka.

A bit later Nik was snug in bed as well awaiting his 6 hour mandatory layover. Pete could leave just after noon, but decided to wait for Nik so we can all cheer them across the Finish Line together in Willow.

Congratulations to Nicolas Petit for his victory in this inaugural Willow 300.

Here are the photos from Nik coming into Sheep Creek Lodge.

Go Team Kaiser!

Willow 300- A Day in the Wilderness

24 hours ago we saw Pete and Nik and both their Teams head out into the wilderness of the Matanuska Valley. It may seem like a short time for us, but both Teams have had quite a day of it. Pete is taking a layover in Yentna and Nik is out of Talvista Lodge on the way to Yentna on the return. Since we last saw them they have mushed up to Yentna and then to the Talvista Lodge and then back to Yentna. It’s been a beautiful day to be out with the dogs. We can only imagine the fun they are having on the trail today.

Kaiser Racing stepped in to help out the Race with some Stats assistance and put up a Leaderboard, so our activity has been pretty busy as well as checkpoints text and send us data to enter on the online sheet. I almost forgot to put up a race update as I have been busy updating, but not necessarily writing a story.

The activity level will ramp up for the Pit Crew this evening as Ron, Rick and Doug will head out to Deshka Landing to meet Pete and the Team. They will need to clean up after the Team and then head up to Sheep Creek Lodge to do the same thing. At that last checkpoit before the finish will be the last 6 hour mandatory layover before the final stretch into Willow and the Finish Line. After Pete leaves, the Pit Crew will head back to Deshka to meet Nik who is traveling about 3-4 hours behind Pete.

Make sure to check the Leaderboard for the latest updates as I post them as soon as I get them.

Race to Go-
Yentna to Deshka – 33 Miles
Deshka to Sheep Creek Lodge – 28 Miles (6 Hour Mandatory Layover)
Sheep Creek Lodge to Finish – 33 Miles

Racing Forecast-
Tonight
Patchy freezing fog. Partly cloudy, with a low around 6. Calm wind.
SundayPatchy freezing fog before noon. Sunny, with a high near 23. Calm wind becoming northeast around 5 mph.