Officially “Hitched” – July 30, 2016
2016 was a great year for Team Kaiser! In addition to the success on the trail, Pete and Bethany exchanged vows in front of many friends and family. So it was an easy number for Pete to choose for his 9th running of the Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog race. The family is never too far from mushing and the photo above was from Pete’s 2014 Kuskokwim 300 Finish.
Fans, Teams, and of course the Mushers gathered this afternoon at the Longhouse Hotel in Bethel to begin the festivities for K300 Weekend. A blizzard outside didn’t dampen the spirits a bit as we all learned of the details of this year’s race.
A change in the routing will have Teams heading overland to Whitefish Lake on the run from Kalskag to Aniak this year. In year’s past, the tradition was to switch the route each year, so this isn’t new to the race, but it is new in recent races.
Myron Angstman, K300 Board chair laid out the rules for the mushers gave details of the race course, which undoubtedly will be a bit more challenging due to the cold conditions and blowing snow currently affecting the region. A big change this year involves the purse. The Massive $150,000 purse will be all paid out to all finishers. Any leftover purse will be split between all the finishing mushers. This is big news as the Kuskokwim 300 is easily the most lucrative race in the world for time spent on the trail. Myron explained that the whole goal is to keep mushers mushing and encourage others to enter the exciting sport.
Each year the drawing is pretty much the same– Gather for the rules, take a break with the media, and then choose starting positions based on entry. 20 Mushers chose their positions as new race manager, Madi Reichard, wrote them on the drawing board.
The weekend of racing begins tomorrow, Friday, January 20 at 5:00pm with the Start of the Bogus Creek 150 and following a bit later with the Kuskokwim 300 Start at 6:30pm.
Wear Warm Clothes and Cheer on Team Kaiser. This year Pete and the Team will be joined on the trail by Niklas Wikstrand, our handler from Norway. This will be Niklas’ first race so c’mon down and give Pete and Nik a great sendoff!
Starting Order for the 2017 Kuskokwim 300-
1- Jessie Holmes
2- Wade Mars
3- Ray Redington Jr.
4- Ramey Smith
5- Isaac Underwood
6- Roger Lee
7- Ken Anderson
8- Rob Cooke
9- Brent Sass
10- Jeff King
11- Mike Williams Jr.
12- Tony Browning
13- Jason Mackey
14- Patrick Mackey
15- Victoria Hardwick
16- Pete Kaiser
17- Hugh Neff
18- Richie Diehl
19- Jackie Larson
20- Paul Gebhardt
Here are the photos from this afternoon’s event-