Out of Kwethluk! Updated Race Finish Estimate – Time to Get Moving!

Just off the phone with Ron at Kaiser Central and Myron at the Old Friendly Dog Farm. It is just over 16 miles from Kwethluk to Bethel. Pete and the Team are doing about 9 miles per hour.

Looking like a finish between 10:30 and 11:00am.

Keep an eye on the tracker and REMEMBER- It’s notoriously about 10 minutes off. I spoke with a guy yesterday at the Bogus Finish who experienced this first hand. He got to the finish only to see Lewis Pavila load up the truck.

See Ya Down there!

Go Team Kaiser!

When Will Brent Make His Move?

One of the neat features of the Spot Tracker (Man I wish Iditarod would use it!!) is called Race Flow. It gives a visualization of speed and what Teams are doing. Are they increasing their lead or overtaking the next team.

Looking at the Race Flow from Last year’s race, it appears that Brent did virtually the same thing– He held back until about 15 miles out and then poured on the coal to try for the win. See Below-

One encouraging thing is that Pete and the Team seem to be getting faster, but the interval is much closer than it was. It could be a nose to nose finish this year! See Below- In the last 20 miles Team Kaiser seems to be increasing the lead slightly but steadily.

3 miles and 20 minutes – Holding the Lead

Update- Finish Expected between 10:30 and 11! Don’t want to be late 🙂

What did I miss?? After following Pete and the Team into Tuluksak last night with the Tracker, I went to sleep dreaming about what might be once I awoke. Well here we are with Pete and the Team still holding off Brent Sass as they make their way into what Lee Ryan would call “The Homeland.”

Pete and the Team were into Tuluksak last night at 1:22am with 9 dogs in harness. Brent was quickly in as well 20 minutes laters. After a 4 hour mandatory layover, Teams are back on the trail bound for Bethel. Pete left with all 9 dogs, while Brent dropped 2 and is now down to 8.

At this hour the interval is holding– 2o minutes and 3 miles– 3o miles from the finish. It’s hard to watch as the Tracker will lag now and then, but once it refreshes, Pete still seems to be holding the lead.

Richie and Team Diehl is in quite a struggle for 3rd place as well. They left out of Tuluksak just 3 minutes in front of Jessie Holmes and his Team. Richie and Pete are very close buddies and once again when this is all over they will have great stories to share!

As if it wasn’t exciting enough, basically anything can happen. Pete is holding the cards as he is leading the race, but you never know if Brent is just holding back and waiting to make his move. Last year Brent made up over 30 minutes on Team Kaiser to finish just 8 minutes later for second place. Once again both mushers will leave nothing on the table as the work to Win this race.

I’m expecting a Finish in the 11:00 hour this morning, so get all your warm gear ready. The wind has kicked up and temperatures are still very cold (-29) with windchills of below -50. Be careful out there!

It’s going to be a shootout in the wild, wild, West, the 2017 Kuskokwim 300. So make some coffee, rub those eyes, and let’s give a collective cheer for Pete and the Team– Go Team Kaiser!


Lights of Tuluksak in Sight

Pete and the Team are up for a 4 hour break, the longest they’ve had since early this morning in Kalskag on the way to Aniak. Brent Sass and his Team have been gaining the entire 50 mile stretch but after Bogus it seemed to settle into about a 15 minute interval.

Richie Diehl has his hand’s full as well as his Team has been running neck and neck with Jesse Holmes of Nat Geo’s Life Below Zero fame. It definitely is below zero tonight with temps into the -30’s on the Trail.

Now it’s time for all of us to get a short break from the Tracker and awake tomorrow for the Finish Line festivities. It’s bound to be an exciting time and I can’t wait to see it play out. Please note that I have both the 2016 and 2017 Leaderboards in the menu links above to do some comparing yourself. Have fun!

Go Team Kaiser!

Midnight on the Kuskokwim

Tracker Eye – The only remedy is the Finish Line!

As we are all glued to the K300 Tracker, teams are making their way down the Kuskokwim towards a 4 hour layover and Vet check. As luck would have it Pete’s tracker seems to be offline at the moment putting a lump in the throats of fans trying to glean any little detail about his trip through the night. Brent Sass has been gaining on Team Kaiser for the last 30 or so miles and the gap is down to about 15 minutes or so.

It is a cold one on the trail and leading the pack can be a stressful endeavor. I’m sure Pete knows Brent is there, but on many occasions he’s told me that it really depends on the dogs and the tracker makes it more suspenseful than it really is. You only go as fast as you need to go to keep those puppies happy.

Come to think of it, has Pete ever USED a tracker? We’re here night after night, year after year, but we are usually following HIM!

In any case, the next hour or so will be very telling as to what is in store for Pete and the Team. He’s got to be pretty pleased over all though as his times are good.

Stay tuned! Go Team Kaiser!

This is OFFICIALLY DE-JA-VU! Identical Times!

What are the chances that in two different years the two top Teams in the Kuskokwim 300 would be in the EXACT same position and time? Well pretty good actually!

I got a call from a Race Fan asking about what time I thought the finish might be. I did a bit of looking and here’s what I found. The two Teams are almost identically matched to 2016! Go Team Kaiser!!

The Race is On- Out of Kalskag

Early in Pete’s racing career he learned the hard way about checkpoint efficiency and how each minute can truly win or lose a race. Pete and the Team were out of Kalskag EXACTLY 1 hour after arriving. This strategy of stopwatch accuracy while in the checkpoints and mandatory stops is one of his strict rules he imposes on himself and the Team. If you’ve ever seen him in a checkpoint, there isn’t much time even to say “Hello” or “How ‘ya doin'” He is a finely tuned machine in total “Race Mode.”

(So please don’t take it personal when you see mushers and they don’t say much) It is true focus and the competitiveness of these highly tuned athletes.

Pete and the Team left Kalskag and are now on the trail to Tuluksak. They left one dog in Kalskag and at 7:45pm hit the trail with 9 dogs.

UPDATE- Brent Sass out of Kalskag right on time as well. Left at 8:19 with 10 dogs.

Go Team Kaiser!!

There Will Be NO Sleep TONIGHT!!

As Race Fans in Bethel took in the K300 fireworks show, the face of the 2017 Kuskokwim 300 was materializing in Kalskag. In what is shaping up to be a deja-vu moment from the 2016 Kuskokwim 300, Pete and fellow Musher Brent Sass may have a shoot out in front of them.

Brent arrived first into Kalskag at 5:19pm this afternoon with a 3 hour mandatory break in front of him. Pete and Team Kaiser arrived into Kalskag at 6:45pm with only 1 hour left on the mandatory clock.

Pete will be able to leave Kalskag at 7:45pm and Brent will be able to leave at 8:19pm. This 34 minute differential seems to be the big question. Pete has the fastest time in from Aniak, with a 16 minute faster time than Sass. Will the extra rest be beneficial or not for Sass? That is the big question of the night.

A couple of other Teams not to be discounted are Holmes and Redington who can leave around the 9pm hour this evening.

It’s going to be a real exciting evening as Teams make for the 4 hour mandatory rest and vet check in Tuluksak, 50 miles down the trail from Kalskag.

Race fans will remember the trail last year where Brent Sass was making up time on Pete and the Team all the way into the Finish. Both mushers were sweating from kicking so hard down the stretch. My prediction is that there will be no sleep tonight as we keep our eyes focused on the marvel that we know as THE TRACKER!!

In terms of weather, it is going to be close to what Mushers had in front of them last night, but with a bit of wind on their backs–

Tonight: Patchy freezing fog. Mostly clear, with a low around -28. Wind chill values as low as -50. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

Go Team Kaiser!!