Pete Kaiser takes Second Place in 2023 Iditarod

Good Evening Team Kaiser!!

Iditarod 2023 lived up to the expectation of drama, competition, and excitement that fans have come to expect year after year. Though Pete and the Team did not arrive under the famed burled arches in first position, Pete was very happy with the performance of the Team. The dedication to competition, but also to fantastic dog care was exemplified by many officials and fans that commented as such as I spoke with them after the finish. “That’s one heck of great dog man!” one told me. “I have a great respect for him and his program.”

Pete arrived to the Iditarod Finish line to complete the 2023 Iditarod in second place at 13:36:40 with 8 dogs in harness. Team Kaiser posted a second best of his career elapsed time of  8 days 22 hours 36 minutes and 40 seconds.

The run into Nome from White Mountain was uneventful until approaching Safety. The area is known for “Blow Holes” that come out of nowhere with extreme winds and poor visibility. Several times over the years as fans waited at the finish line, just 20 miles away, the weather was just crazy windy. Pete described the experience later as we gathered to hear a few stories. He related that he could see the winds moving out of the hills toward the beach that they traveled. “One minute it’s 15-25 mph wind and the next moment you go through this almost wall of violent wind of 50-60mph and blowing snow. You’ll be traveling through it and then just like another wall the team will pass through and it’s over. Sometimes the leaders will be out of the wind while the sled is still in the wind. It’s crazy!”

Richie Diehl described it as well, “It’s the first time I’ve had to use my headlamp to see the trail markers in broad daylight!”

Amazing that White Mountain can be fine and Nome can be fine, but somewhere in the middle the weather is out of control. Pete said it was probably the most challenging portion of the race.

Both Pete and Richie had nothing but good things to say about the race and the fact that a Redington musher had won the race that grandfather Joe Redington had put together 51 years ago. They also related how good this is for the mushing community to have Rural Alaskan Mushers and Alaska Native Mushers at the forefront of this race.

There will be more photos and video coming, but here’s a taste of the action from Pete and the Team’s awesome run into Nome.

Go Team Kaiser!


Iditarod 23- Early Morning Takeoff

Good Morning Race Fans!

I grabbed the phone at 04:30 just in time to watch Pete and Riche take to the trail, their 8 hour layover completed.

Both Teams looked great and ready for the final stretch of this year’s Iditarod.

Leader Ryan Redington, who at one point was thought to extend his layover, left right on time after midnight.

At this hour Redington is approaching Safety, while Pete and Richie are about 25 miles back on the trail.

This race, as per usual, has been filled with great excitement and drama, but that is all about to end by early afternoon today when the top three Teams should be passed those famous burled office.

There will be photos and more, so stay tuned and Quyana for all of your support for Team Kaiser through the Race!

Go Team Kaiser!!



Iditarod 23- Big News from White Mountain!!

Big news from White Mountain! It looks like Ryan Redington is going to spend a couple of extra hours in the checkpoint.
Pete was into White Mountain at 20:29 just 8 minutes before Richie at 20:37.
According to Bruce Lee in White Mountain, Pete took the extra time in Elim readying for just this scenario. Both Teams had been pushing hard pretty much from Kaltag. Pete is looking at scenarios as is Richie, where if the leader falters, they are right there, ready to pounce.
This is something that I haven’t seen before. The leader not leaving a checkpoint to gain added rest because the Team has enough lead in the mandatory checkpoint to leave pretty much any time. For all intents and purposes, Ryan can take 3 hours more rest and still have a hour lead on Pete and Richie.
Wow! What an amazing twist to this race! Just like I’ve been saying– Anything can happen and generally does!!
Go Team Kaiser!!


Iditarod 23- Together Again!

Good Afternoon Race Fans!

As you read this story, just hum to the great Buck Owens tune, Together Again! Pete and Richie are traveling together again!

Something Pete saw early this morning made him decide the Team was going to need more rest. Running with Ryan Redington wasn’t a problem, but not taking rest that he is used to must have taken a toll on the him and the Team. Always on a musher’s mind is the health and well being of the Team. A good long rest to get back on track is always a good thing.

In the meantime, Richie Diehl was on the trail to Elim after a 4 hour break in Koyuk. Richie arrived into Elim took a nice break in Koyuk and continued on the trail and checked into Elim at 12:06. A friend is a welcome sight on the trail and after Richie spent an hour or so snacking his Team, the duo left the checkpoint together, Richie at 14:18 dropping one dog and Pete at 14:22 with his 8 dogs in harness.

While all this was happening, musher Matt Hall was steadily making progress towards Elim as well. Not to be discounted at all, Matt’s runtime into Elim was a full 23 minutes faster than Richie that had the fastest time of the three front runners. Matt took 4 hours rest in Koyuk and did not stop in Elim but to check in and return to the trail.

The excitement is far from over in this race. I would suggest that even first place isn’t a done deal, however Ryan Redington should have about a 5-6 hour lead on the next group. Driving my insecurity of a Redington finish is how little accumulated rest his Team has had since Unalakleet. It is a really nice dog Team, but stress could be an issue for the Team leaving the 8 hours in White Mountain. It has happened before, so let’s just see what happens here.

The race for second is a barn burner, however, after Pete’s long rest. Any one of the three traveling together could make a play for the finish line. All Teams are running 8 dogs except Richie with 7. There won’t be any time to gain in the checkpoint, so it will just be a sprint race of sorts to the finish. Mushers will want to allow their Teams to work a little faster than they are do during the initial parts of the race as there are so few miles to go, but at this point there really isn’t much more a Team can do. They have been pacing for many hundreds of miles and are pretty much set into a groove.

With regard to the finish, the faster years show a 9 hour run from White Mountain to Nome. Ryan should be getting into White Mountain by 4 and leave by midnight. That will put the leader into Nome about 9-11 tomorrow morning. The group of three following for 2-3-4 should be arriving about 5-6 hours after that.

What a race it’s been for 2023!

The excitement isn’t over, so join us as we wish Pete well on his last 100 miles to Nome!

Go Team Kaiser!!



Iditarod 23- Decisions, Decisions…

Good Morning again Team Kaiser!!

On the previous post I mentioned that Ryan Redington was in the decision pressure cooker. What to do? What to do?

A former champion on your heels. Do you stay or do you go?

It’s like playing cards and in this case Ryan had to show his hand. Pete then made a decision based on what he saw as well as what his Team is needing.

In this case, Ryan took the gamble to go and Pete is taking the safe bet and taking a break. Better to rest and recharge. In past races, a couple hour break in Elim with warm water and a place to warm the musher is a good option. Granted, there is an 8 hour rest awaiting in White Mountain, but if Pete is taking a break, it’s because the Team needs it. This is a beautiful dog team and they rely on Pete to make the best decision for them. No musher ever wants to break that special bond of trust.

Generally before making taking the trail to White Mountain without stopping in Elim, Teams will take about a 5 hour break in Koyuk knowing they have 84 miles in front of them. Last night Pete and Ryan took about 3 1/2 hours. With Pete stopping, he is going to gather a couple more hours of rest before heading on to White Mountain.

If Ryan is able to hold it together and run into White Mountain without a break, that may be the run that wins the race. It’s just really hard to say at this point. We have seen Teams that, once in White Mountain, even after the 8 hours, just don’t want to go. We have also seen Teams that are really super and this kind of move is what pushes them into that special category of Iditarod Champion.

For Team Kaiser, it’s a waiting and watching game. This is Iditarod and ANYTHING can happen!!

Go Team Kaiser!!




Iditarod 23- Epic Battle to Elim

Good Morning Race Fans!

As hard as it is to get up this morning, consider Pete and the Team earlier in the night rising to take the trail after a bit over 3 hour break in Koyuk!

Pete and the Team were out of Koyuk at 2:43am this morning leaving 2 dogs at the checkpoint. The 8 dog Team is something that is pretty consistent with many Teams over the years from Koyuk on the trail to Nome. 8 dogs makes it easier to care for, but also trims out any slower dogs to keep up the speed that Pete needs to try to catch Ryan Redington, who left 26 minutes earlier than Pete, at 2:27am with 10 dogs.

Almost the entire trail from Shaktoolik to Koyuk, Pete was about 6 miles behind Redington. In fact that interval has remained pretty much since Unalakleet.

Arriving 35 minutes after Redington into Koyuk, Pete trimmed 10 minutes with rest, but the two Teams seem almost equally matched. On the trail since Koyuk this morning, the interval has remained 3 miles almost the entire time. It is an epic battle, but I can almost hear Pete telling us, “There is only so much you can do. The dogs need rest and food, so you do what you can, but it is what it is…”

The story of the morning here is whether the Teams will take a break in Elim or not. It is 84 miles from Koyuk to White Mountain. In the past, Pete has skipped Elim and made the entire run to White Mountain, but that is generally after a longer break in Koyuk. I’d venture to guess that it will really be decided by what Ryan Redington does. Ryan is leading the race, but the pressure is really on him instead of Pete to make the decision. At 3 miles in the clear, calm early morning, Ryan may be able to see Pete in the distance and that may spook him into making the run to White Mountain whether he wants to or not.

This is one of the most epic battles we have seen for the Championship in many years. Very exciting and so much action on the trail. Also, remember that often discounted is the trail from White Mountain to Nome that has reared it’s head to be very challenging in some years. Weather forecast for later today and tomorrow aren’t great with snow, blowing snow, and wind. All of the factors that can change a race.

We will know soon about Elim and what lies ahead!

What a great battle by two great Teams!

Stay Tuned! Go Team Kaiser!!

Elim Weather:
Temp 1, Calm Winds, Clear Skies.

Nome Weather:
Temp 6, Light Wind, Light Snow Fog/Mist

Today Snow, mainly after 10am. Areas of blowing snow. Patchy freezing fog after 1pm. High near 9. South wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Tonight- Snow, mainly before 10pm. Areas of blowing snow. Patchy freezing fog before 10pm. Low around -5. North wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.


Iditarod 23- Into Koyuk – Wow What a Race!!

Pete and the Team made up about 10 minutes over the 50 mile trail in from Shaktoolik and WOW WOW WOW What a Dog Team! Tails wagging, lunging to go, these fine animals are a beauty to behold!!

Pete arrived into Koyuk at 23:21 with 10 dogs and now the games begin! Both men are extremely tired and sleep deprived at this point in the race. Pete has a decision to make soon as there really aren’t enough miles to slowly reel in Team Redington. Commentators still believe that Pete and his Team are the strongest, but just by a bit. The real question is whether Ryan can or will make a move in some way.

Ryan ran his Team all the way across the portage into Unalakleet from Kaltag, while Pete rested earlier and broke the run to Shaktoolik into two smaller runs. At this point the question is whether each Team will make the 84 mile run to White Mountain and the mandatory 8 hour rest in one run. Pete has done it several times and with this Team he undoubtedly will do it again. The big question is whether Ryan’s Team has it in the tank to do that long run as well.

Pete’s move may be to run with Ryan and short rest slightly after feeding and resting the Team. If Pete leaves with Ryan, that may be the move he has to make to pull away from him. Ryan had the faster Team before the long run to Unalakleet. Will it recharge and remain fast after the mandatory 8 hour layover? That is the $50,ooo question!!

For us, OMG it’s going to be a few long runs as well! Haha! Glued to the tracker as we wonder what will happen next!

Tomorrow the Kaiser Pit Crew will head up to Nome to prepare for the arrival. No sleep Tuesday has turned into No sleep Monday!

Go Team Kaiser!