Meet Pete!

IMG_2059Pete Kaiser is 28 years old. He was born on May 6, 1987 in Bethel, Alaska. His childhood was spent fishing, boating, hunting and running a small team of family dogs on camping trips and in local races. In his senior year at Bethel High School he won the Akiak Dash, a 65 mile race put on by the Kuskokwim 300 Race Committee during the headliner event in January. Later, while attending college, Pete decided what he really wanted to know was everything about dogs. That passion turned into dog mushing full time.

A love of the outdoors is how Pete Kaiser arrived at making a life of running dogs in the winter and working on a tugboat in the summer. Pete was born, raised and graduated high school in Bethel, Alaska. His Bethel roots extend back three generations to include a great grandfather who came into the country as a goldminer and hired out with his dog team for extended trips from the Interior to Bristol Bay and a Yupik great grandmother orphaned by an epidemic and raised in a mission orphanage.

The decision to become a dog musher gave his life focus and purpose. Twenty years old, energetic and hard working, he became serious about learning everything he could about dogs, training and racing. He found he was well suited for it, and liked spending most of his time with the dogs.

AbouIMG_2148t then, Pete’s friendship with Ed Iten, an experienced Iditarod, Kobuk 440 and Kuskokwim 300 musher became an important mentorship. Ed was willing to share his experience and knowledge just as Pete was getting started in mid and long distance mushing and needed to know more. Ed remains a valued friend and is missed at the races.

Pete had been introduced to mushing years earlier by his dad, who had a dog team. With his sister Tillie and friends, there’d been hours of enjoyment running dogs to winter camps and racing in Sunday Fun Runs put on by the Kuskokwim 300 Race Committee. The Kuskokwim 300 race itself was a highpoint of the winter, especially with dad having run it and mom having managed it and served on the board.

His life since then has been marked by seasonal employment, managing a kennel and racing. In 2009 he ran the Kuskokwim 300, the Tustemena 200 and the Kobuk 440. All were needed qualifiers for his first Iditarod in 2010. He’s run in every Kuskokwim 300 since 2009 and every Iditarod since 2010. Along the way, in 2012, Pete and Bethany Hoffman welcomed their son, Ari Joseph, into the world. He’s found many ways to fit right in, from making puppy howling sounds to playing for hours with his heavy equipment. His favorite is the excavator.

IMG_24492015 got off to a great start. Pete’s dream of winning the Kuskokwim 300 came true in January. Pete is the first local musher to do so in 29 years when Myron Angstman finished in first place. It was a sweet victory to share with his hometown of Bethel and the Y-K Delta. Sponsors, friends, family and long -time handler, Jen Peeks, have made it possible for Pete to compete with the best of the best. He can’t do that alone. There are so many contributions, both corporate and personal, that have encouraged him, allowed him to get better at it and paid bills. All are giants. Thank you.

The win in January 2015 further earned Pete the first Kuskokwim 300 Triple Crown. His 2005 Akiak Dash win was followed by a 2008 Bogus Creek win, topped by the 2015 Kuskokwim 300.

Following several warm winters offering little to no training, Pete purchased “The North 40” halfway between Nenana and Fairbanks. Team Kaiser now has a permanent place to train in addition to the Bethel area when training conditions are poor. He remarked that he is already looking forward to training earlier next year as Nenana gets cold and snow earlier in the season. Richie Diehl joined him at the ranch as well and they have both really enjoyed the good conditions up there.

Following a consecutive Kuskokwim 300 win in 2016 and a photo finish win in the Denali Doubles, Team Kaiser is ready and rarin’ to go for Iditarod 2016. Wherever he finishes, Pete’s goal is always the best possible performance and a happy, healthy team.

Follow along with us from the Starting Line to the Burled Arches in Nome! Go Team Kaiser!

Pete’s Race History


Kuskokwim 300, Bethel                                                                        1st Place

Denali Doubles, Cantwell                                                                      1st Place


Kuskokwim 300, Bethel                                                                        1st Place



Kuskokwim 300, Bethel                                                                        3rd Place

Iditarod, Willow                                                                                        8th Place



Kuskokwim 300, Bethel                                                                        3rd Place

Norton Sound 450 (PMJ), Unalakleet                                                1st Place

Iditarod, Willow                                                                                        13th Place



Kuskokwim 300, Bethel                                                                        11th Place

Paul Johnson Memorial (PMJ), Unalakleet                                        1st Place

Iditarod, Willow                                                                                        5th Place



Kuskokwim 300, Bethel                                                                           3rd Place

Iditarod, Willow                                                                                        8th Place

Kobuk 440, Kotzebue                                                                               1st Place



Kuskokwim 300, Bethel                                                                        10th Place

Iditarod, Willow                (Rookie year)                                            28th Place


2009 (Iditarod Qualifying year)

Kuskokwim 300, Bethel                  (Rookie year)                        6th Place

Tustemena 200, Sterling (Rookie year)                                        4th Place

Kobuk 440, Kotzebue (Rookie Year)                                             3rd Place

2016 Kuskokwim 300 Champion - Peter Kaiser

2016 Kuskokwim 300 Champion – Peter Kaiser




















237 Responses to Meet Pete!

  1. sewa says:

    Go Pete im following you through the race hope you win cheerz

  2. Alex Annise says:

    Hi Pete,
    I am in second grade and I will be following you this year when you race the Iditirod.
    Your dogs are so cute….what are their names?
    Which is your lead dog?
    I hope you win!

  3. Eddie Joyce Ray says:

    I’m your sister Judy’s best friend, we went to London together. I’ve heard lot’s about you all. Good Luck to you Pete we’ll be watching!

  4. Peggy Parsons says:

    Hi Pete i am a friend of your cousin Chris Owens. Nice to have someone to root for. Good luck!

  5. Miss Bartz says:

    Hi Pete,
    We are a fifth grade class from Dunlap Elementary in Battle Creek, Michigan. We are tracking your progress as a part of our March reading month activities. Our school chose the Iditarod as our theme this year and we were lucky to get you as our musher. We were wondering if you think of your dogs more as family or as teammates? We hope that you and your dogs stay healthy and that you try your best. Don’t give up and we’re supporting you!

  6. sam says:

    hi Pete

    I am a big fan hope you win!

  7. Matt Wendel says:

    I’m a third grade teacher in Rochester, NY and my kids all chose a musher. Some chose you and I’m looking for an address for them to send you some fan mail but it’s not on your website. Can you send me the address?

  8. Lead Dog says:

    Hi Kids and Everyone! Send the your eMail to
    Thanks for support Pete and the Team!

  9. elizabeth says:

    Hi Pete.
    I am a first grader and we are following the iditarod at school and we each picked a musher to follow and I picked you.

    Hope you do good!

  10. Hadleigh says:

    Hi Pete,

    I live in Battle Creek Michigan. Me and my family are hoping you win but if you don’t win that is ok because we all know you tried your best!!! We all support what you do no matter what. Don’t ever give up!! Keep trying your best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope all of your dogs stay healthy and of course you too!!!!!!

  11. Bannana Man says:

    Hi pete you are a cool guy I am in 1st grade, I like bannanas to.

  12. sam says:

    hi pete

    you are doing good oh what are your dogs names?

    your biggest fan sam

  13. Morgan says:

    Hi Pete, my class has choosen you as our class musher. I hope you will win but even more I hope you and your dogs stay heathly !

  14. Hadleigh says:

    You are doing great pete!!!!!!! Keep up the hard work!!!! Stay warm!!!! Hope you and the dogs are ok!!!!!

  15. Megan says:

    Hi I’m megan I’m in fifth grade in Illinois, I have you as my musher….. You’re great!!!! Don’t give up!!!!:)

  16. Amy Hays says:

    Hi Pete, I learned from a distant cousin of mine (Lois) that you are related to me (2 ways, no less) and about your doing this race. She said your goal for this race was to at least place in the top 5 and I’ve been keeping track from the beginning. Must say I’m impressed and proud. My mom informed me that we are double distant cousins…my maternal grandmother (Angela) was a Leiker and my paternal grandfather (Clarence) was a Pfannenstiel. Good job, cuz

  17. Regina says:

    Hello…..from Kansas!!!! I am the activity coordinator at a Retirement Community here in Salina, Kansas. Our residents have been following the race day by day, but the main interest was YOU….because your Grandma’s cousin (Rosalie) lives here!!!!! I have been interested in the race for a couple of years, and when I heard someone had connections to a musher….wow that made it even better!!!….I had a poster up of all the details and we updated the poster twice a day so our residents could see your results, plus some of the pictures.
    Congratulations on your 5th place…what an accomplishment!!!!

  18. brandon says:

    Hi pete, i’m 12 year old and your teacher back in school is my science teacher this year miss bovey. I have been watching you the whole race and been rooting for you. congratulations 5th place wwooww go job.

    by Brandon pizzini

  19. Don Robinson says:

    Congratulations, you worked hard and had a GREAT race!

  20. mady purvis says:

    Hey Pete me and my class were following you the whole way! Do you love your dogs like family and friends? My family does. Any way, you did great!!

  21. Cierra says:

    Hey just wanted to say good luck

  22. dude says:

    go pete

  23. dude says:

    hi pete

  24. Seamus says:

    I hope you win the Iditarod!! Good Luck!!!

  25. Rachel says:

    Hi Pete, I’m wishing you some good luck. My class is doing a project on the Iditarod. I chose you for my musher. I really hope you win.

  26. Gary D says:

    great bio jannet It is indeed a good read

  27. Cindy Kaiser says:


  28. Anita says:

    Have a safe race. Best wishes from all of us in Chicago. We’ll be cheering you on from here. So proud!!

  29. Alan B. Cox says:

    Good Luck, Pete! May the force be with you during this Iditarod. Kansas fans,
    Alan and Dana Cox

  30. Judy says:

    Watching the race in oklahoma. Rooting for you.

  31. Lillian says:

    Hi Pete, have a great race and be careful. Love you much.

  32. Beverly Hoffman says:

    Go Pete, We’ll be cheering you all the way to Nome! Speed on safely!

  33. Caitlin miner says:

    Hi peter a like all of your dogs but love Kronekite

  34. Liam S says:

    Hi Pete! I am in 3rd grade and for my class project, I followed you for the whole race. Congratulations on finishing the race, way to go!!

  35. Pete Kaiser says:

    Hi Pete,

    I’m your namesake in Scotland whose photo pops up next to yours when you do a Google search for our name – just thought I’d touch base!



  36. zak says:

    hey when where you born

  37. Joshua says:

    Hi peter

    Me and my classmates are doing a project over a musher so I chose you. I got a few questions.
    1.What do you like about the Iditarod,and why do you like about it.
    2.If there was one thing you would rather do, what would it be.
    3.which dog do you like the best.
    4.Do you remember anything from the past races like a moose on the trail.
    5.If there was one thing you could change about the Iditarod, what would it be.


    p.s. Say hi to your girlfriend and son for me.

  38. Justin LaPointe says:

    Hi I’m doing an English project on you and i hope u win. Would you be willing to give some good information about your life history of dog sledding.

  39. Etta McMakin says:

    You are amazing and I hope you win this my class is having a little competition I don’t care if yoy get first but try to get top ten your in ninth place right now just keep going.

  40. Lillian ~ Iditarod lover says:

    Hi! I tracked you for the 2017 Iditarod and I will for the rest of your Iditarod mushing career. I am right now doing a report on you for school. Congrats on getting top 10!


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