Pete Kaiser – First into White Mountain

Folks, Pete Kaiser is leading the Iditarod and first into White Mountain!

Can I say it? OMG!!!

Pete left Elim chased by Joar Leifseth-Ulsom with a 5 minute lead. He got into White Mountain with about a 6 mile lead. Joar arrived 41 minutes after Pete.

Officially Pete checked into White Mountain at 8:05am. He has a 8 hour mandatory rest period that will allow him to leave on the 77 mile trail to Nome at 4:05pm.

Believe it or not, a 45 minute lead is not substantial. Two rested Teams and two highly competitive, highly athletic mushers. This could be a horse race to the finish and I’m telling you anything can happen. Both Teams are fast trail Teams with good speed and both Teams have 8 dogs. It is going to be a horserace folks!!

By being the first musher into White Mountain, Pete earned the Northrim Achieve More Award consisting of  a $2,500 check and a one-of-a-kind print by Anchorage artist Marianne Wieland. It was presented to Pete by Chief Financial Officer Jed Ballard of Northrim Bank.

“We are excited to be back for our second year as a Lead Dog partner of the Iditarod. We appreciate the opportunity to honor the first musher into White Mountain with the Northrim Bank Achieve More Award. The Iditarod itself inspires fans to ‘achieve more’ and as an Alaska grown bank, we at Northrim applaud that pioneer spirit,” said Ballard.

Kaiser Racing got some unwelcome news from Kaltag that our second Team musher Nik Wikstrand has scratched. We don’t have the full story, but Nik left the checkpoint and then turned around about 6 miles out of the checkpoint and went back to Kaltag. The statement from Iditarod was that “Wikstrand made the decision to scratch in the best interest of his race team.” We will keep you posted, but know that in every race our main goal is happy and healthy dogs. Once that is not the case, the race is secondary to everything else. We do know that Nik and the Team are resting comfortably in Kaltag where the food and accommodations for the dogs and Nik are outstanding.

It’s going to be a laid back day as we sit and wait for the clock to wind down to the afternoon departure. We are monitoring the situation in Kaltag so we can assist Nik. And people are arriving from Bethel to cheer on Pete all day.

Stay Tuned!

Go Team Kaiser!

And here we go. Race to Rest

The excitement continues…

After arriving into Elim 50 minutes after Pete, Joar left right after him onto trail to White Mountain.

We were watching the tracker wondering what was going to take place and Myron texted me, “They are going to leave together”

He was right. Joar made up 10 minutes on Pete on the run from Koyuk, but by short resting just a little, Joar now is right on Pete’s heels.

It is 46 miles to White Mountain and the 8 hour layover which will refresh the Teams, but also put in place an epic run into Nome with two Teams almost equally matched.

This is going to be like the Ben-Hur chariot scene as the two mushers Jessie Royer called the “Nicest Guys on the Trail” race to Nome. Nothing to do now but just keep the tracker close at hand!

Go Team Kaiser!

Pete Kaiser – Into Elim… Decisions, Decisions.

Pete is into Elim at 9:51pm. The question now is whether to stay and rest or to keep on going to White Mountain.

Last year Joar made the run into Elim in 7 hours 5 minutes and kept going non-stop into the 8 hour layover.

This decision is really a tough one. The leader has to figure out whether to rest and risk the chaser to just run past, or to keep running and risk tiring a Team that has been on the trail for many hours.

I just spoke with Myron Angstman and talked with him about Pete’s dilemma. He said that basically Pete’s best option might be to make a temporary decision. Basically stop and snack and water and rest the Team. If Joar sees that and he goes through, then Pete can still move, but with the added benefit of a bit of rest, some water and food. A definite advantage.

He also said that Pete has been around Joar’s Team a lot over the last days. He knows what they are capable of and whether in a foot race to the finish, Pete could overtake Joar if he was to pull into the lead.

The excitement is building as Pete, Joar and Jessie make their way West toward White Mountain.

One other notable tidbit from my conversation with Mr. Angstman. He told me that Nils Hahn said the trail from White Mountain to Nome is packed hard and fast. That favors Team Kaiser as they do great in those conditions.

Stay tuned! It’s going to be another long run and long night! But hey, You are Veteran Trail watchers now!! Haha!

People are arriving by the planeload as we gather to cheer on Pete and the Team into Nome! If you can’t make it, we know you are with us in spirit!

Go Team Kaiser!


First out of Koyuk – Team Kaiser Leads the Iditarod – Joar an Hour Behind

Good Afternoon Race fans! The excitement is building as many of us are now in the Anchorage airport waiting for our flight to Nome.

Pete dropped one dog in the Koyuk Checkpoint and was sent on his way by Kaiser Fan Ariel Tweto. (She’s everywhere on the trail)

Joar was out of Koyuk an hour after Pete.

This feels so much like the last half of the Kuskokwim 300. Pete has left Koyuk bound for White Mountain 100 miles down the trail. We will be able to watch closely his times as he goes through Elim and Golovin and then into White Mountain. I expect one rest stop before he runs into White Mountain. With Joar on his heels, it is going to be an exciting evening!
Go Team Kaiser!

Koyuk Down- There are 177 Tough Miles to Go

We all are excited, but let’s keep an eye on where we are and breathe a collective, “Okay, now let’s stay focused!”

Pete and the Team have 177 tough miles ahead of them. We may all be excited, but I’d venture to guess if we could talk to Pete right now he would be upbeat, but also the pragmatic Musher we have all followed over the last 10 years.

Pete arrived into Koyuk an hour in front of Joar Leifseth-Ulsom and it’s looking like about another hour in front of Jessie Royer.

Joar is still dangerous in terms of the race for the win. If he pulls out with Pete, there are still many miles to go. Each musher knows what their Team is capable of and how much rest they need to run the next 100 miles into the 8 hour mandatory layover.

As I’m looking at the time in from Shaktoolik, it is a little deceiving in terms of how far back Joar is from Pete. They were running pretty much together until just after the Shelter Cabin. That’s about 20 miles into the 65 mile run. At the Shelter Cabin, Joar was about 15 minutes behind Pete. After that he lost another 45 minutes in about a 40-45 mile run. I’m not sure what this means in terms of Joar’s Team as they looked pretty spunky coming into Koyuk. I am taking into account the added distance of the new trail as I look at these times.

I’m thinking a 4-5 hour break in Koyuk for Pete which would mean leaving at 1 or 2pm.

In a lot of ways, Joar has an advantage over Pete in that he can decide to pack up and go if he see’s Pete getting ready to leave. Pete has to decide if he uses minimal rest because he knows that Joar just won’t be able to follow, or rest a little bit more because he knows he has speed on Joar.

It’s a stressful decision for Pete and one that will be on his mind for the next bit. (Or as he sleeps on it for a few hours)

The race is not close to being over and this next section will definitely be a cat and mouse game between the new contenders, Pete, Joar, and even Jessie.

Stay Tuned!

Weather is also going to be a factor:

Fog is showing on Weather Cams in Koyuk, Elim, Golovin, and White Mountain. It’s chilly and windy. And more of it to come.

White Mountain Currently
Wind Speed N 20 G 23 mph
Barometer 29.08 in
Visibility 10.00 mi
Wind Chill 8°F

Today-30 percent chance of snow. Cloudy, with a high near 31. Northwest wind around 15 mph.
Tonight-30 percent chance of snow. Cloudy, with a low around 12. North wind 10 to 15 mph.

Go Team Kaiser!

Fan Fotos – Pete and Irene Kaiser – Annual Check-in

I’m sure the kids look at their Mom and say, “MOM, not again!!”

But it sure is cool to look back on these little kids that are now grown into nice young people.

So here is our annual check-in with Pete Kaiser (Louisiana version) and his sister Irene. They came to us on our first run of Fan Fotos 10 years ago! Thanks Kids! And Mom Mary as well! 🙂

Pinch Me! Is This Really Happening? Pete into Koyuk First!

Ring, Ring, Ring!

Hello? “Are you seeing this?” Michelle Dewitt on the phone.

“Uh, Yeah!” We were up all night!

Everyone at Kaiser Racing is going a bit crazy! We kind of have to pinch ourselves to really get a feel for what we are seeing!

Of course the Tracker has been a bit uncooperative, but we just saw Pete and the Team arrive into Koyuk with a good lead over Joar Leifseth-Ulsom.

Here’s how it went down.

Ding. My text goes off… It’s Bethany, Pete’s Wife. “Are you up?”

“Yeah- Are you  seeing this? Pete is out of Shak!!!”

I quickly write a story and get on Facebook. Before you know it there are over 30 people watching together as Pete approaches and then passes Nic Petit who’s tracker has him stopped just a couple of miles from the Shelter Cabin where we had expected him to camp. It was odd. Petit’s tracker has slowed and then stopped and then a slow movement and then finally stopped for good. Was it the Tracker? Or had Nic’s Team quit?

Pete was out of Shaktoolik at 1:28am. Joar was out 13 minutes after.

As they moved forward through the night the group of us on Facebook just went wild! Would Nic jump up and start running? He had done this on the Yukon river a couple of days ago. Was it going to happen again?

Mile after mile they got closer. And then click, click, click. Pete passed and then Joar passed.

No movement from Nic. Was this really happening?

We all went crazy! Pete was the true leader!

I fell asleep and then the phone started ringing again. “Where’s Pete?” The tracker had lost Pete and it showed Joar leading.

And then just a couple of miles from Koyuk, there he was, big as day! Pete Kaiser about 45 minutes in front of Joar. He had made really good time on the trip North!

Pete arrived into Koyuk at 8:54 with 10 dogs. Expect a break here as he prepares to head to White Mountain where he and the Team will have a mandatory 8 hour break. 100 miles to get there.

News from the trail is that Nic had a fight in his Team and then they stopped. He was unable to get them to move again, so he just camped in place.

Pinch Me!! Team Kaiser is Leading the Iditarod!

Update- Joar into Koyuk about 1:04 after Pete.

Go Team Kaiser!!

Peter Kaiser Leads 2019 Iditarod by Passing Nic Petit

Unless Nic Petit’s tracker has gone offline, Peter Kaiser is now the true leader of the 2019 Iditarod Trail Race. By true leader, I mean that all layovers and adjustments have been made and all Teams are on the same interval. From Shaktoolik until the Finish Line in Nome, Teams begin to be on the same run/rest cycle as well.

Pete and the Team have led before, but never in this fashion.

There are 208 Miles until the finish in Nome as well as an 8 hour mandatory layover in White Mountain.

Go Team Kaiser!