“It’s a done deal,” Angstman says. “The basic rule for us is the trail has to be marked Saturday and Sunday before the race and we have to make the decision Friday night as to where they’re going to go which is what we did.”
He says the trail markers reported that the overland trail between Bethel and Tuluksak is good.
“Boy, it sounds like it’s a really good trail actually,” Angstman says. “They were very impressed with the condition of the trail. The overland trail is protected from the wind just enough so that the little bit of snow that we had was pretty much intact.”
The mileage will be about the same as a traditional trail on the river still totaling about 300 miles. From Kalskag to the northern edge of Bethel is 99 miles–about the same as the river trail.
The race will still start on the river Friday night. The trail will head upriver past the barge and then jump up the bank into a meadow. From there, teams will head towards Hangar Lake.
“And when it gets to Hangar Lake, it kind of circles Hangar Lake on a little slough behind the lake and then goes pretty much to the west to connect up with what’s locally known as the tripod trail or Rocky’s trail which is a direct shot from Tundra Ridge to the Gweek and the Russian Mission trail,” Angstman says, “and that connects up just behind the dump, maybe a mile or two behind the dump.”
Both the K300 and the Bogus Creek 150 will follow this trail. The first checkpoint will be Tuluksak about 50 miles from Bethel.
“That is a significant change for the 300 this year,” Angstman says. “When we’ve done the back trail before, we’ve figured out a way to go into Akiachak but this year we did not.”
There will be no drop dogs at Akiachak on the way home for K300 teams. He said the Bogus teams could decide to create a drop dog zone for their handlers to take dogs down the trail from Tuluksak.
The K300 committee decided to postpone the 65-mile Akiak Dash for a few reasons including that the trail doesn’t go to the village.
“The back trail misses Akiachak by a little bit but misses Akiak by quite a bit and at the time we put it in, it didn’t seem like a satisfactory sprint trail either,” Angstman says.
Angstman says additionally, they hope some of the Dash teams will enter the Bogus Creek 150 instead. Then they could run both the Bogus and then the Dash when it’s rescheduled.
The K300 organization is asking travelers to please be aware of the trail markers that are already out there and to please not knock them over.