Back on the Trail

After a 4 hour break at the Halfway point of Bethel, Pete and the Team are back on the Trail for the Second half of the race. One of the things that I am finding is that it is a pretty busy place when there is a Checkpoint in Town!! I have lots of photos and video headed your way! Go Team Kaiser!

2018 K300 – Who is the Leader?

Good Morning Race Fans!

The 2018 K300 Race is a little hard to follow, but follow along and let’s see if we can make some sense of what is going on.

In a traditional K300 route, Mushers race up to Aniak and back to Bethel. They have to take 6 hours of combined rest in the three checkpoints, Kalskag, Aniak, and Kalskag the second time.

In this race, Teams will run up to Bogus Creek and then back to Bethel and then do it again. They must take 6 hours of combined rest in Tuluksak on the first lap coming down (Which is kind of like Kalskag) and then they can also add to that combined rest in Bethel or in Tuluksak on the way up. Once they reach Tuluksak on lap 2 going up, they must have completed 6 hours of mandatory rest. Then on lap 2 once they reach Bogus Creek, the race is actually back on the traditional route and Teams must reset one final time as they always do in Tuluksak for 4 hours.

So the checkpoints in order are:

1- Bethel – Start

2- Tuluksak – Lap 1 – Coming Down

3- Bethel – Halfway Point

4- Tuluksak – Lap 2 Going Up

5- Tuluksak – Lap 2 – Coming Down

6- Bethel – Finish

Pete and the Team are leading the pack into Bethel at this point, but it appears he took only 2 hours of rest which skews the picture just a bit. The Bethel Checkpoint is at the ME school, so it will be interesting to see how this all stacks up for us shortly. I just talked to Ron, who talked to Pete on his Cell Phone. Pete told him everything is going according to plan. He’s doing a different strategy than he has before with the less rest earlier, but he is happy, the Team is happy and he’s excited to be racing.

We cannot assist him in Bethel, we can just watch like everyone, but he may have thought that it was a better strategy to run the Team “Home” and then make another lap.

I’m working on rest calculations right now and will have it shortly. If you are in Bethel you can still head over and cheer him on. Just give him lots of breathing room- a checkpoint is a very busy place.

Believe it or not, Pete has caught up to the Bogus Leader and may end up in Bethel before that leader. What a powerful Team!!

Go Team Kaiser!!

Off and Running! 2018 Kuskokwim 300 Underway

Pete and Nik are off into the night in the 2018 Kuskokwim 300. Nik and the B-Team left just an interval ahead of Pete and the A-Team on the way to Bogus Creek and the turnaround to head back to Bethel for the first ‘lap’ of the race. The weather was expected cold, but it was actually very nice. An expected icy wind was just a settling breeze and to those of us experienced Kaiser Fans, this was just a walk in the park.

If I was to put into one word, comparatively speaking of course, I would say– Relaxed. The Startline had a relaxed, almost casual feeling as Teams made their way to the line and off onto the trail.

Andy Angstman annouced the Start line activities and this year was joined by his Dad, and Father of the K300, Myron. Having the two talking to the crowd of onlookers was a fun addition and hopefully it will continue.

Nik Wikstrand, our star handler, had no trouble at the line and was much more relaxed than last year. “I know the trail now and have been on it several times,” he told me as I chatted with him. “The trail conditions have been horrible, but at least this year I know what to expect.” Carrying a recently acquired Norwegian flag for the motherland, Nik was out with Bib number 3 for the 300 mile journey.

Watching Pete now in his 10th run of the race is like watching a machine. Hands to line, dog to snap. No wasted movements. Just a relaxed, experienced Dog man and the Team responds to his slightest movement. “Heeyyy,” Pete looks at the Team as they get a bit boisterous and noisy. They all look at the master and calm down immediately. Evident that the true leader of the Team is wearing Kaiser Racing Gear and soon they will be a well oiled machine putting miles down the trail.

It was a great deal of fun and this new trail will be a great experience for Bethel fans. For almost 40 years, fans are used to seeing Teams off, watching the fireworks, take in a fiddle dance, and maybe some basketball, and then watch Teams at the Finish Line. This year the whole weekend will be filled with DOGS-DOGS-DOGS! A real checkpoint where all the fans can see what really happens on the race trail. If you are in town, watch the tracker and head on over to the ME school to watch the action.

One note of caution– Leave your pet dogs at home and when watching the Teams give them ample room. They are in full competion mode, way different from how they are at the Start and the Finish. You are going to see the best of the best compete this weekend!

Your Mushing Weather forecast- Dress Warm!–

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around -9. Wind chill values as low as -30. North wind around 15 mph.

Saturday: Increasing clouds, with a high near -5. Wind chill values as low as -30. North wind 10 to 15 mph.

Saturday Night: Scattered snow showers, mainly before midnight. Cloudy, with a low around -12. Wind chill values as low as -30. North wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near -7. Wind chill values as low as -35. North wind 15 to 20 mph.

Here are the photos! Go Team Kaiser!

Old Home Week – Old Friends – New Trail – 2018 K300

The drawing of the Kuskokwim 300 marks the start of the racing season for Kaiser Racing and many of the mushers gathered tonight in Bethel, Alaska. As old friends gathered to hear the rules and see what’s in store, it reminds me of “Old Home Week.”

Myron Angstman began tonight with a tribute to Rudy Demoski, who passed away earlier today. A mushing legend, Rudy Demoski left his mark on many races, but as Myron’s voice shook a bit as he spoke, it was evident that it left a lasting impression on him, and the Kuskokwim 300 trail race. A fitting tribute to an old time musher for the old breed. Tough, talented, and a bit rough around the edges, but a true musher and racer and friend.

The 2018 Kuskokwim 300 will be far different from any race that has started under its name to date. The starting line is near the airport on a trail Pete and the team have been using for training. Warm condition and dangerous river conditions canceled completely the upper regions of the trail. Bogus Creek will be the upper most checkpoint and Teams will run from the start to Bogus in two 150 mile “laps.” It should be an exciting weekend and a unique opportunity for Bethel mushing fans to see Teams at a checkpoint. The M.E. School will be the Bethel checkpoint as Teams water and feed their Teams and also get a quick bite to eat as well. Bethel has never hosted a checkpoint, so this will be a great opportunity for fans to see how it works “on the trail!”

Team Kaiser will have two Teams in the race this year as Pete and the A Team will be joined by Nik Wikstrand and the B Team out on the Trail. Pete told me tonight that training has been marginal with much of the time spent out on the tundra with little snow and much ice.

Pete chose bib #5 and Nik chose #3. Teams are placed on the lake with odd numbers on one side and even on the other. So by choosing these positions, Nik and Pete will be side by side on the same side of the lake. Logistically it is just much easier for it to happen this way.

18 Teams will leave the chute tomorrow at 6:30pm near H-Marker lake. I’ll have mileages and such soon on this complex race for 2018. It should be a great deal of fun for spectators and as always, I’ll have lots of photos and video for you to devour if you can’t make it or are one of our online fans.

Go Team Kaiser!!

Welcome to 2018!!

Welcome to the 2018 Racing Season!

In a few hours we will know Pete and Nik’s bib number to start off our season!

Pete returns as ‘Three Pete’ reigning Kuskokwim 300 champion.

Lots of racing news!

Stay tuned!