Peter Kaiser Leads 2019 Iditarod by Passing Nic Petit

Unless Nic Petit’s tracker has gone offline, Peter Kaiser is now the true leader of the 2019 Iditarod Trail Race. By true leader, I mean that all layovers and adjustments have been made and all Teams are on the same interval. From Shaktoolik until the Finish Line in Nome, Teams begin to be on the same run/rest cycle as well.

Pete and the Team have led before, but never in this fashion.

There are 208 Miles until the finish in Nome as well as an 8 hour mandatory layover in White Mountain.

Go Team Kaiser!

On the Move. Pete Strikes out for Koyuk

Throw away the Kaiser gamebook folks! Pete is penciling in a new play in the 4th quarter!

After a 3 hour 30 minute rest in Shaktoolik, Pete quietly took off and headed North towards a sleeping Nic Petit and a longer trail around the bay to Koyuk. He was probably seeing what we saw– Something not quite right with the camp spot of Nic Petit.

I was talking to Myron Angstman on Sunday afternoon and asked him what would it take for Pete to win this race. He said, “Quite frankly, make up time where you can or take advantage of every opportunity”

Is this the opportunity? Apparently Pete thinks so and is on the move. Nic cannot know they are coming. So in effect they are sneaking up on him.

In an hour or so, we will see as Pete pulls up on Nic. Nic’s reaction to Pete will really be the “tell” of what’s happening. Similar to when Nic was camped on the Yukon, once Pete and Joar came by, Nic sprang to and was off in chase.

As it sits now, Pete has left Shaktoolik with Joar right on his tail! Ready or not, here they come!!

More excitement! Sunday is over, but hardly and we are seeing great racing tonight! So awesome to see the replay of the Kuskokwim 300 played out on the larger Iditarod stage!

Stay tuned! I know it’s late, but we are seeing our man, Mr. Kaiser and his Team run a race we have never seen before! I don’t know about you, but I’m not sleeping!! This is as good as it gets! Teams moving on a Team resting. If Pete passes he will be the true leader. Then the next challenge is to hold off Joar.

For now, Ssslippery Pete is sneaking North!

Go Pete Kaiser! GO Team Kaiser!!

Check-in and comment at Kaiser Racing Facebook while this all happens!


Closing the Notebook on Iditarod Sunday

Iditarod Sunday– Not the Start, but this one. The pivotal Sunday that has so many, many memories- Some good. Some not so good. But always Exciting!

Think back… Jeff King scratches out of Unalakleet with his dogs. Jake Berkowitz withdrawn with a cut hand. Ramey Smyth’s run up the coast. John Baker’s epic run. Ariel Tweto’s mountain of Pancakes! So many memories…

When I think of Iditarod Sunday I thing mainly of the phone… “Hey… Did you see?” “What do you know?” “Did you hear that???” Tiffany Tony usually is the first caller. Then maybe Cindy, or Rick… Ring, Ring, Ring!!

One year I got so excited I left the live feed going on my computer at Unalakleet. The old days of Unicom Internet. Cost me $400 in overages! Angaiii!!! (Yup’ik for AHHHGGGHHH!! Haha!)

Well, this Sunday did not disappoint! We saw Pete Kaiser arrive into Unalakleet in second position and we have been treated to a fun day of excitement on the trail.

We close the book on today with the following observations:

  1. The Team to beat seems to be Nic Petit, but a little drama exists as he seems to be camping on the ice a couple of hours North of Shaktoolik. Pete, Joar, and Jessie all can see him on the tracker at the checkpoint, so it is bound to be exciting. They can see him, but he is left to his imagination which can be challenging at this point in the race. Sleep deprivation and a little bit of paranoia can be powerful. I’m hoping nothing is seriously wrong with the Team, but this is racing and that is what Mushers signed up for.
  2. Pete, Joar, and Jessie have so similar Teams that it is going to be hard to pick a winner. Any one could break away, though Pete seems to have a small advantage on speed. Joar, though, does not fall back at all when trailing.
  3. Richie’s Team appears to have gotten a trail bug and is slowly healing as they move down the trail towards Unalakleet. This type of thing happens, but often it costs time and extra energy by the musher to keep the Team moving down the trail. They are again moving well, but lost valuable time earlier between Eagle Island and the portage.
  4. Jessica and Nik are getting closer and closer to running together. They were in the Eagle Island checkpoint together today and I’m sure will have great tales to tell. I’ll also bet that a lifelong friendship will have bound as sharing the trail together, as all of our mushers have this year, is like a year in high school. You’ll always have that in common.
  5. Our trail sweep, Victoria, is moving along steady and true. Her times are really good. She is giving herself and her Team ample time to get along down the trail and I anticipate seeing her at the finish line.

So that wraps up such a big day on the Iditarod Trail. So much action from all directions. Tomorrow will open to a new set of challenges for the Teams and the Kaiser Pit Crew will be repositioning to Nome.

Pete is resting in Shaktoolik before heading North towards Koyuk. In the morning we will find out the drama or not on the ice with Nic and see Teams much closer to the burled arches on Front Street where Breaker’s is a-callin’

GO Team Kaiser!!

Every Minute Counts

In a close race like this Iditarod, every minute counts. Several veteran armchair mushers are looking at Nic Petit’s run past Shaktoolik and are sitting puzzled.

Nic left Shaktoolik about 8pm on his way North. He passed through as was expected. He was making good speed until he came upon the ice and stopped several times before stopping for what must be a break.

The thing that is unexpected is the location and also the multiple stops and slow speed leading up to the stop.

It’s as the old commercial used to say, “things that make you say Hmmm…”

Stay Tuned!!

Go Team Kaiser!

Solidly in Second!

Off on his way to Nome with Gonders and May watching from the sidelines. Go Pete Go!!

On the Unalakleet river just outside of town, Pete has passed both Joar and Jessie. Pinging 10.4 on the tracker.

Go Team Go!!

From the Trail- Unalakleet Friends Talk to Pete

Hearing from the Trail that Pete is confident and upbeat. Has Nic in his sights. Kaiser Kennel friend Melissa Turner Koenig posted these photos as Pete posed just before heading out: