In 1973, they decided to try the first 1,100 mile race in Alaska as a team: two mushers, one sled. And the strategy paid off. Owen A. Ivan and his brother, Robert, earned $750 for finishing 16th out of 35 teams. This weekend, their home village of Akiak is hosting a sled dog race, fiddling, and bingo to honor the mushers.
This Saturday will feature the 1st annual Owen A. Ivan Memorial Sled Dog Race. The 45-mile race will start at 11 a.m. Saturday and have a 10-dog limit. The trail will head downriver form Akiak to Kwethluk, over to Akiachak where mushers will take the back trail to above Akiak where they will return to the village on the river.
Robert Ivan will be honored during fiddling, which will take place Friday and Saturday nights.
The race purse will be about $8,000.
The mushers’ drawing will happen Friday at 7 p.m. at the Akiak Community Center.
For more information, you can contact the Akiak Native Community at 765-7112.