Rest Stop Over – Westward to Safety and Nome

After an 8 hour break in the sun in White Mountain, Pete and the Team are back on the trail to Nome!

Pete left at 4:05pm with 8 dogs.

It is 77 miles until Pete will reach the burled arches in Nome and a complete throng of people that have made their way to just be there to witness this great event. We have watched together so many years where Pete has left White Mountain and made his way towards Nome.

Here are the photos from Shirley Kowchee in White Mountain. Thanks!

Go Team Kaiser!

 

Photos from the Trail – White Mountain – Shirley Kowchee

Here are photos from the trail from Kaiser Racing friend Shirley Kowchee who used to live in Bethel with her husband Jeff. Pete was met by a contingent of White Mountain fans who totally love him. They showed up with a sign that says “Cama-i! Go Pete!”

Thanks Shirley!

Go Team Kaiser!

 

Pete Kaiser – First into White Mountain

Folks, Pete Kaiser is leading the Iditarod and first into White Mountain!

Can I say it? OMG!!!

Pete left Elim chased by Joar Leifseth-Ulsom with a 5 minute lead. He got into White Mountain with about a 6 mile lead. Joar arrived 41 minutes after Pete.

Officially Pete checked into White Mountain at 8:05am. He has a 8 hour mandatory rest period that will allow him to leave on the 77 mile trail to Nome at 4:05pm.

Believe it or not, a 45 minute lead is not substantial. Two rested Teams and two highly competitive, highly athletic mushers. This could be a horse race to the finish and I’m telling you anything can happen. Both Teams are fast trail Teams with good speed and both Teams have 8 dogs. It is going to be a horserace folks!!

By being the first musher into White Mountain, Pete earned the Northrim Achieve More Award consisting of  a $2,500 check and a one-of-a-kind print by Anchorage artist Marianne Wieland. It was presented to Pete by Chief Financial Officer Jed Ballard of Northrim Bank.

“We are excited to be back for our second year as a Lead Dog partner of the Iditarod. We appreciate the opportunity to honor the first musher into White Mountain with the Northrim Bank Achieve More Award. The Iditarod itself inspires fans to ‘achieve more’ and as an Alaska grown bank, we at Northrim applaud that pioneer spirit,” said Ballard.

Kaiser Racing got some unwelcome news from Kaltag that our second Team musher Nik Wikstrand has scratched. We don’t have the full story, but Nik left the checkpoint and then turned around about 6 miles out of the checkpoint and went back to Kaltag. The statement from Iditarod was that “Wikstrand made the decision to scratch in the best interest of his race team.” We will keep you posted, but know that in every race our main goal is happy and healthy dogs. Once that is not the case, the race is secondary to everything else. We do know that Nik and the Team are resting comfortably in Kaltag where the food and accommodations for the dogs and Nik are outstanding.

It’s going to be a laid back day as we sit and wait for the clock to wind down to the afternoon departure. We are monitoring the situation in Kaltag so we can assist Nik. And people are arriving from Bethel to cheer on Pete all day.

Stay Tuned!

Go Team Kaiser!

And here we go. Race to Rest

The excitement continues…

After arriving into Elim 50 minutes after Pete, Joar left right after him onto trail to White Mountain.

We were watching the tracker wondering what was going to take place and Myron texted me, “They are going to leave together”

He was right. Joar made up 10 minutes on Pete on the run from Koyuk, but by short resting just a little, Joar now is right on Pete’s heels.

It is 46 miles to White Mountain and the 8 hour layover which will refresh the Teams, but also put in place an epic run into Nome with two Teams almost equally matched.

This is going to be like the Ben-Hur chariot scene as the two mushers Jessie Royer called the “Nicest Guys on the Trail” race to Nome. Nothing to do now but just keep the tracker close at hand!

Go Team Kaiser!

Pete Kaiser – Into Elim… Decisions, Decisions.

Pete is into Elim at 9:51pm. The question now is whether to stay and rest or to keep on going to White Mountain.

Last year Joar made the run into Elim in 7 hours 5 minutes and kept going non-stop into the 8 hour layover.

This decision is really a tough one. The leader has to figure out whether to rest and risk the chaser to just run past, or to keep running and risk tiring a Team that has been on the trail for many hours.

I just spoke with Myron Angstman and talked with him about Pete’s dilemma. He said that basically Pete’s best option might be to make a temporary decision. Basically stop and snack and water and rest the Team. If Joar sees that and he goes through, then Pete can still move, but with the added benefit of a bit of rest, some water and food. A definite advantage.

He also said that Pete has been around Joar’s Team a lot over the last days. He knows what they are capable of and whether in a foot race to the finish, Pete could overtake Joar if he was to pull into the lead.

The excitement is building as Pete, Joar and Jessie make their way West toward White Mountain.

One other notable tidbit from my conversation with Mr. Angstman. He told me that Nils Hahn said the trail from White Mountain to Nome is packed hard and fast. That favors Team Kaiser as they do great in those conditions.

Stay tuned! It’s going to be another long run and long night! But hey, You are Veteran Trail watchers now!! Haha!

People are arriving by the planeload as we gather to cheer on Pete and the Team into Nome! If you can’t make it, we know you are with us in spirit!

Go Team Kaiser!

 

First out of Koyuk – Team Kaiser Leads the Iditarod – Joar an Hour Behind

Good Afternoon Race fans! The excitement is building as many of us are now in the Anchorage airport waiting for our flight to Nome.

Pete dropped one dog in the Koyuk Checkpoint and was sent on his way by Kaiser Fan Ariel Tweto. (She’s everywhere on the trail)

Joar was out of Koyuk an hour after Pete.

This feels so much like the last half of the Kuskokwim 300. Pete has left Koyuk bound for White Mountain 100 miles down the trail. We will be able to watch closely his times as he goes through Elim and Golovin and then into White Mountain. I expect one rest stop before he runs into White Mountain. With Joar on his heels, it is going to be an exciting evening!
Go Team Kaiser!