Thanks Big Sam in Unalakleet!
The Team made it to Anchorage in fine style and were met by Jen and Pete at the Airport who gave them a quick ride into Palmer at host family Doug Dorland’s ranch. Doug has been the host family for Pete and the Team since his Iditarod rookie year and quite honestly I think the Team likes it better there than at home! Thanks Doug!
The Team was checked over by Iditarod Veterinarians who gave them a clean bill of health. The dogs are poked and prodded and given a complete physical to determine readiness for the trail. All is good and the Team is ready to go.
Here are some photos of the check from Jen who is with Pete in Anchorage.
Though the Finish Line for the Norton Sound 450 is 250 miles North of Team Kaiser’s home court, the excitement built to a fever pitch Friday night. I arrived to interview Jen, but found the Kaiser dinner table in a fever pitch due to Pete’s Tracker not moving. It was a nervous time as the unknown crept into everyone’s fears. Then a quick call to Unalakleet and the news came– The front runner had just entered town– It was Pete and the Team! Wahoo!! The mood quickly changed and then Laureli Kineen called to confirm. Pete was going to be first across the line. Then the next challenge- Would it be enough to keep Martin Buser in second.
Pete needed to have at least 4 minutes over Martin for the win. As we listened to the garbled phone in the bathroom we wondered. Coming down the trail was Martin. The clock was ticking literally as we listened to Laureli talk through his crossing of the line. Pete still hadn’t won at this point. Tick Tock and then it came– Martin Buser’s elapsed time was more than Pete and the Team. Officially Team Kaiser had won the race and cheers could be heard from the dining room across the house.
It was truly a fun night win or lose. Everyone gathered to cheer and be together to celebrate the finish.
Here are the photos from tonight’s Kaiser Finish Bethel style!
Pete Kaiser – 3rd Place
2013 Kuskokwim 300
The photos show it all– Pete was pretty thrilled with the Team. They basically did what he asked of them. He said that they basically encountered every kind of trail and weather you could have in a race, from cold to wind, to rain and sleet, but this Awesome Team just did it happily. The Finish was as good as it could get– Warm Weather and many mushers coming in at the same time. Seven teams finished in a stretch of two hours. THAT is competition and a race to be proud to be in the top 5.
Photos from Around the Web- This is Nikolai- If you have contacts on the trail. Get them to the checkpoint and get us some photos!!