PJM 450 – Finish Photos – Eric and Selena Petersen

A Mushing Program like this only happens because of folks like Eric and Selena that got up and ran down to the Finish Line to support Team Kaiser and all of the mushers. Team Kaiser is made up of all of the people directly related with Team operations (Mushing, training, etc) but it also is made up of Sponsors and Fans that make it all possible. These photos are a great example of all of the support we receive from all over. Thanks Eric and Selena and Emerie!!

PJM 450 – Pete’s Facebook Winning Interview

As I finalized a couple of things, I noticed Pete was on Facebook! Sometimes chatting is a better form of communication (especially when you are dead tired!) Here is the transcript:

John Wallace
If you are online- Congratulations! What a wild ride from White Mountain!

Pete Kaiser
haha thanks…just checked the website, thanks again for posting stuff

John Wallace
Was it really as close as it seemed? It looked like he was right on your heels from WHite Mountain.

Pete Kaiser
yeah he was a few hundred yards behind me the last 40 miles…he kept his light off but i could hear him talking to his dogs
he got as close as 50-75 yards…in the last 10 miles

John Wallace
Well Great Job! The experience of this race will payoff later I’m sure. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it like that. The cool thing, and I noted this in a post, is that with the tracker, we can see it. The tracker was posting you, then him, so it would show you ahead, then him, but the times were off, so after I compared each time, it looked just so close. Unbelievable. Well get some rest! Iditarod in less than 3 weeks!

Hey what was the deal on the ice into Koyuk? Kind of a bummer to have burned up your lead. I think that is what made the finish so close. You?

Pete Kaiser
yeah something would of been different for sure
basically the trail dead ended in a bunch of jumble ice the size of houses….kinda like being trapped in a maze

John Wallace
How are the dogs?

Pete Kaiser
they look good…might be the fastest a team has ever loped down front street haha
probly not though..

John Wallace
Who were leading?
In lead I mean

Pete Kaiser
kerry and dollar were in lead….frosty stayed home

John Wallace
A quick thought on the race for the website? All you expected? Competition? Dogs? 

Pete Kaiser
race was pretty tough….trail is alot different before iron dog runs over it…dogs did good but far from a perfect performance…found out more about who ill take in the iditarod

John Wallace
Why tough What tough?
Just trail conditions or other factors

Pete Kaiser
trail conditons and how the rest is set up
trail seemed more physical demanding on the dogs

John Wallace
demanding because of poor trail?
Or having to do the portage to Kaltag twice to start the race?
Seemed like a bunch of hill climbs

Pete Kaiser
yeah and punchy trail…hard pulling
trail that would be easy to injure a dog that is not used to that type of conditions/terrain

John Wallace
I’m a novice, what does punchy mean. Heard it, but don’t really understand

Pete Kaiser
little or no base to the trail so no consistant surface to run on
a few sections of trail were like that but not all

John Wallace
Did Iditarod experience help? I mean you don’t have alot of those kind of trail conditions here, so is this kind of why you want to race these races, so that it helps the dogs experience?

Pete Kaiser
we run on that type of trail earlier in the year but its kind of nerve racking to do this close to iditarod

John Wallace
Sure. Okay- Go have a beer and a nap! When is the banquet? How much did you win?

Pete Kaiser
i think its 11,000
banquet is tommorow night

John Wallace
Alright! Congrats again Pete! Go Team Kaiser! See Ya!

Pete Kaiser
ok thanks again, talk later

Got Photos?

It’s been a bit of a black hole down here this morning! Hey Race Fans: Got any photos? We would sure like to have a few. Send them my way and I’ll post them for everyone to see! Emery and Bethany will have some for me, but we always appreciate other perspectives. Thanks in Advance!

Pete Kaiser Wins Paul Johnson Memorial 450

Internet and long distance are dead for Bethel, but our reporter on the trail, Emery Fairbanks, got the details:

Pete Kaiser and the Team of 9 dogs arrived just at 5:47am (Update- Official Time In) and just a minute before John Shandelmeier (5:49am Official Time) to win the 2012 Paul Johnson Memorial 450. The dogs looked great, but Pete, who undoubtedly has been kicking since White Mountain, had to lie down a minute right after the finish.

From KNOM Twitter: Kaiser: “In WMO, I thought Schandelmier was going to pass me … if I could stay ahead of him as we got into [Nome], I could win.”

PJM 450 – Don’t Blink! It Doesn’t Get Closer Than This!

As of 12:04, Pete is still maintaining the lead, but it has diminished to a virtual dead heat. At this point Schandelmeier probably has the faster team and is just lying in wait. This must be mentally challenging for Pete and Team Kaiser to know that a team is just hanging there. With a well established trail, trail breaking isn’t the issue, it is basically team against team.
The shoot-out continues now for the next 50 miles along the coast into Nome.
Keep it up Pete! It’s not over til it’s over!

The organizers couldn’t have asked for a better tribute to Paul Johnson than a duel to the finish of this race. One thing to note is how technology has truly made dog sled racing a spectator sport. As grueling as it is, watching along for every GPS update has truly brought the sport into the public’s eye. Think of all the times these same exciting battles have taken place over the decades of racing without anyone but the mushers really knowing about them. It is truly a great time to be involved in this sport and can do nothing but to further bring revitalize it.

PJM 450 – A Note About the Tracker

As most of you have noted, the Tracker is a bit erratic. As the mushers are so close together, it will show lead changes after each update, although until one of them breaks away, we won’t know the true leader. Presently using the 9:24 update as a baseline, Pete and the Team have about a 1/2 mile lead or about the same 6 minutes that has separated them since Elim. It’s going to be a nail biter for a bit here! Go Team Kaiser!

PJM 450 – Sprint to Nome into the Night

Pete and the Team were able to leave at 8:39pm after their mandatory layover. In last year’s Iditarod John Baker made the trip in 9 hours and 42 minutes. Pete however had one of the fastest times and made it in 9 hours and 12 minutes. The trail is supposed to be excellent but temperatures have not cooled as much as anticipated. Winds are from the northeast at 20 knots which will harden the course a bit.
If speeds match the Iditarod, we could see a race finish before 6 am AKSDT. Another long night folks! :)