Jeff King is in a familiar spot: first place. The eight-time winner has been steadily separating himself from the field and reportedly looked to be all business going through the Lower Kalskag checkpoint.
King arrived in Kalskag with 14 dogs just after 8 p.m., dropped one and snacked his team. He wasn’t standing around for long as he blew on down the river toward Tuluksak about a minute before second place Rohn Buser pulled in.
Buser arrived at 8:27 p.m. and said he may not be able to catch 56-year-old King. Buser said he figured his team would have to average about 12 miles per hour from Tuluksak down to Bethel to be able to make a run. That’s a tall order considering fresh snow has slowed down the trail significantly. Mushers were averaging around eight miles per hour coming out of Aniak.
Rohn Buser wasn’t the second musher to leave Kalskag, however. 2011 champ Paul Gebhardt quickly tended to his team and was out the door almost an hour after Jeff King. Gebhardt was followed out of the checkpoint by Buser and Bethel’s own Pete Kaiser.
KYUK Guest Reporter Will Peterson said he thinks those three teams, Gebhardt, Buser and Kaiser, will all battle for the second position.
Stay tuned to KYUK for more K300 race updates.