Peter Kaiser and his 9 dogs crossed the 2017 Kuskokwim 300 Finish Line at 10:37 this morning with an elapsed time of 40Hrs 7Minutes and 54 Seconds. He bested his 2016 Elapsed time of 40:36:21 by almost 30 minutes! Pete’s “3-Pete” of the race was marked by very cold temperatures, but trails with snow that made it much easier on the dogs.
Team Kaiser bested the second place Team, Brent Sass, by 46 minutes. Pete steadily increased the lead out of Tuluksak, unlike last year when Sass was slowly catching him and finishing only 8 minutes behind.
A great crowd of spectators braved the cold weather and extreme (-50) windchills to welcome the Bethel borne Champion home. “It’s great to see all of the folks,” he said, “It’s why we do this. The support of the community is really what drives this.”
Pete will take home over $25,000 in prize money for the Win!
It’s been a long evening for many of us, but there are many Teams still on the trail, so make sure to head on down and cheer them across the Line. It is truly a great accomplishment to finish this race.
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.
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.
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!