Second to Richie is Alright-Alright-Alright!!

Pointing to the new Champ!

It was a great race any way you put it. Pete and the Team crossed the Finish Line at 7:21am to claim second place about 43 minutes behind his best friend Richie Diehl. “I couldn’t be happier for him,” said Pete of his friend and first Musher from one of the villages on the K300 race course to win the event. “It’s huge for his whole community and his family who’ve been involved with the race for so long.”

Pete had nothing but great things to say about the Team. It’s the first time he’s finished the K300 with all 12 dogs and was the only musher this year to do so. “It’s one of the best Teams I’ve driven,” he said.

Conditions on the trail were a little “punchy” or soft on the way up to Bogus Creek, but coming down the cooler temperatures had hardened the trail and made for perfect conditions. Richie had a faster race on the way up and Pete said they just couldn’t make up the time. “We could match him pretty much the same later on, but Richie ran such a nice race, we just couldn’t make up the time.”

The next challenge for Team Kaiser is to prep for Iditarod. Drop bags are due in Anchorage soon, so the focus at the dog yard will be on drop bags for checkpoints and all of the other logistics. With a scaled back race, no Ceremonial Start or public events, it is going to be a very different and in some ways better. As I’ve said before, mushers don’t necessarily like the limelight, so Covid distancing and getting right to the trail is right up their alley.

Both Pete and Richie will be hard at it before the race start in 3 weeks. (March 7, 2021)

Again- A big hearty congratulations to Richie and all of the folks up in Aniak. They say it takes a community to raise a child? Well it takes one to raise a dog team as well!

Here are the photos from this morning’s Finish. Go Team Kaiser!

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Richie Diehl – 2021 Kuskokwim 300 Champion

2021 Kuskokwim 300 Champion – Richie Diehl

What a great win for a great Team! If you look up tenacity and perseverance in the Webster’s Dictionary, it’s a wonder it doesn’t say, Richie Diehl. The Team has been at it for many years and finally this year, the stars began to align. I was surprised at this year’s Bogus Creek 15o Finish when Richie, just nonchalantly, said, “This is my first trophy” when handed the prize. I spoke to Richie off to the side this morning and he told me, “You know what this means? I finally get to have a Ron Kaiser Trophy on my shelf!” (Ron makes the K300 Winning trophy each year)

Year after year Richie and his Team have stuck to it. Last year’s Iditarod Team looked excellent as well and he led the race for a time. This year’s Team– Well look out! He calls them the “Spring Break kids” as they are just happy and excited and ready to party down on the trail. Of course, Richie was ecstatic as were all of the fans who showed up for his 6:38am finish. His trail time was 36:08:32 and 43 minutes in front of pal Pete Kaiser who was as thrilled with his win as much as Richie. “If I was to want anyone else to win this, it would be him.” said Pete in his post race interview.

As Richie crossed the line a cheer went up and Gonders Hoffman handed him a rose. “It’s Valentine’s Day, don’t you know!” Richie laughed and handed it to his sweetie and fiance, Emerie Fairbanks. The Team looked great and ready to go another 300 miles.

Here at Kaiser Racing we share his excitement and are so happy for Real Diehl Racing. All the years traveling together makes this just like a win for the Team. Pete and Richie are tied at the hip, so to speak, so a win for him is just the best! Congratulations Richie and the Spring Break kids! Awesome!

Here are the Photos from the line-

 

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Richie is headed to his First K300 Win!

Richie Diehl has held his lead all night and is expected into the Finish about 6:45. (I’ll see how close my prediction of 6:51 was!) Pete and the Team are about 8 miles behind with Nic Petit close behind. Pete looks to have had better speeds, but who knows what can happen in the last 10 miles or so. Fr. Alexander Larson and Isaac Underwood are just behind as well. It looks like we may have 4 of the top 5 Teams from the Kuskokwim!

This will be Richie’s first Kuskokwim 300 win and a first and maybe only Double Championship! He won the Bogus Creek 150 a couple of weeks ago as well.

Time to make some coffee and head on down to cheer on this great Musher!

Pete will be right behind, so it should be a really fun morning.

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2021 K300 Finish Prediction – An Early Morning Wakeup

Hello Race Fans! It’s that time of the night on the Saturday of the Kuskokwim 300. When do we need to be at the Finish Line to see who claims victory?

Richie Diehl is just about into Tuluksak and a 4 hour mandatory layover. So if he reaches the Checkpoint by 10:30, he will be able to leave at 2:30am. It took Richie and his Team 4 hours and 21 minutes to make the trip from the Starting Line. Add them together and we are looking at a 6:51am possible Finish. Add a little fudge factor just in case he is in a hurry or if Pete closes the gap and they start running for the gold? I’d say it’s a good bet to set the alarm clock for 6:00am and check the tracker!

Weather for the evening is perfect. It’s a little chilly and there’s some Northeast wind to cool the trail from the warm day. Pete said today that the trail on the river was pretty soft, so a little chill will keep it hard and fast. (Hopefully) Both Pete and Richie are in a good position for the run as generally a trail degrades if it is too soft. I’d bet it will be better that it was going up. I guess we’ll see!

See Ya There!

Go Team Kaiser!!

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Akiak Dash – Always Exciting

Jenn with the Leaders

As K300 Teams were making their way into Bethel for the halfway checkpoint, an exciting race was building in front of Bethel. The Akiak Dash started at 2:00pm for a run up to Akiak and back. The sprint dogsled race is always exciting with Teams jockeying for position.

Kaiser Racing was represented by our own Jenn Peeks, of Bogus Creek 150 fame, for her second run in the race.

Napaskiak’s Jackie Larson was the winner followed by Matt Scott and his brother Greg Larson. Jenn finished in a very close 5th place. She said she had a great time and the Team, well of course they were awesome.

One thing I’ve noticed over the years is the amount of family involvement at Kaiser Racing. Each person is not only a family member, but a Team member, each chipping in to help out. I was surprised as Bethany grabbed the sled and wrapped it up and started putting dogs in the truck. Everyone has really grown to know all of the facets of the Team. Very cool!

Here are the photos! As per usual, when a Kaiser Team finishes, there are always people there to cheer on the finisher! Congrats Jenn on a fun race!

 

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Bethel Checkpoint Photos

Bethel isn’t the traditional halfway point in the race, so while fans in Bethel normally get to see the Start and the Finish, the real fun of the race is watching Mushers care for their Teams and all of the activity in a checkpoint. A couple of years ago Bethel fans were treated to a similar event when the trail wasn’t safe to travel to Aniak. It was great fun to visit with mushers and watch the activity. This year, with Covid restrictions, fans could still see but had to stay a safe distance away and weren’t allowed into the rest area for the mushers.

It was still a great day with loads of activity and many opportunities to see and snap a few clicks of the goings on.

Of course, I over-clicked (Haha) and have quite a bit to share. In the following gallery see Pete, Father Alexander Larson, Isaac Underwood, Josh Cadzow, and Matt Failor.(a little oops! Sorry Pete! Matt is the 2019 Champ, not last years! Haha!) Speaking of Matt, we got to see the new couple that will always live on in K300 History as Matt proposed on the finish line to his sweety Liz. Okay– All together… Awwe… Haha!

So here is the activity and video of Pete leaving the Checkpoint.

Go Team Kaiser!

 

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Pete and the Team Third into Bethel Checkpoint

Richie Diehl into Bethel

It’s been a flurry of fur at the Bethel Checkpoint this morning. Richie Diehl was first into Bethel at 9:35 followed closely by Nic Petit who had been right on their heels, but made a wrong turn and cost them about 15 minutes. Pete and the Team were into Bethel at 10:31 and looked great! The whole family was there to meet him and say hi, they can’t help, but being there is moral support for sure. Even little Aylee was glad to see Daddy!

Local mushers are going excellent in this year’s race. Isaac Underwood has a great looking Team as does Father Alexander Larson. Of the top 5 Teams into Bethel four are local mushers! Well done!

Remarkable is that Alexander Larson has the fastest Tuluksak to Bethel time of the top five by 12 minutes. He has yet to be bested and pulled away from Jeff King.

There will be action in Bethel all day as the Akiak Dash will begin at 2:00pm and the rest of the K300 mushers making their way through.

2019 K300 Champ Matt Failor took a wrong turn on the Gweek which cost him greatly. We’ll see how it plays out, but that may have been is “poptart moment” – Darnit!!

Here’s some of the photos! I have to run down and get Pete leaving the Checkpoint!

GO TEAM KAISER!!

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Inbound to Bethel – Breaktime Awaits

Good Morning Race Fans!

Teams are headed into the halfway point of Bethel led by 2021 Bogus Creek Winner Richie Diehl. Mushing weather is absolutely beautiful with light winds, nice temperatures and great competition. Just a few miles behind Richie is Nic Petit, with 2020 K300 Champ Matt Failor and our own 5 time Champ Pete Kaiser about 8 miles behind them.

This year’s race is way off the rails in terms of a “normal” K300 with great temperatures and conditions in addition to the Covid 19 Race Course. Other changes are in terms of layover rest. A traditional race mandates that Teams must have 6 hours of rest in the checkpoints of Kalskag on the way up, Aniak, or Kalskag on the way down. Teams can “spend” their rest in any configuration as long as it adds up to 6 hours. Finally, on a “normal” race, Teams have a vet check and mandatory 4 hour rest before heading to the Finish Line.

This year, with a change to the race course, the layover rules are also different. It’s a bit confusing, but here goes–

Teams will pass through the Tuluksak checkpoint 4 times.

  1. Tuluksak 1- On the first loop to Bogus Creek.
  2. Tuluksak 2- Coming down from Bogus Creek on the way to the halfway Bethel Checkpoint
  3. Tuluksak 3- Headed back up to Bogus Creek and the “second lap”
  4. Tuluksak 4- Coming back down from Bogus Creek on the way to the Finish Line.

Teams can “spend” their rest, or split it up, between Tuluksak 2, Bethel Halfway, or Tuluksak 3.

One the way down from Bogus Creek, Tuluksak 4, Teams will be required to have the mandatory 4 hour layover and vet check.

Some Teams have already taken some layover time in Tuluksak 2, while Richie, Nic, Matt, and Pete have decided to make the run all the way into Bethel. This would be similar to a run all the way to Aniak on a traditional course.

Teams will be sequestered from the Public near the Bethel Fitness Center. The public is not allowed in the building and is encouraged to watch from a distance.

Richie and Nic should be in Bethel soon and Matt and Pete probably an hour behind.

It’s looking like a great race. Winds have been predicted to increase from the Northeast, but so far we have a reprieve!

Go Team Kaiser!!

 

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