As Pete Kaiser was leaving the Lower Kalskag checkpoint in 5th place, he got word that his handler, Jen Peeks, had just won the Bogus Creek 150. Many considered Kaiser to be one of the favorites to win this year’s K300 as well.
However, hopes of the Kaiser Racing Kennel winning both races took a serious hit Saturday night as his team had trouble with the trail looping around Aniak toward Whitefish Lake.
Just nine miles past Aniak and seemingly gaining momentum, Kaiser’s team took a wrong turn at a fork.
Kaiser said as he was bending down to reach into his sled bag, his team went straight when they were supposed to veer left. The team ended up traveling about seven or eight miles in the wrong direction before Kaiser turned around.
The miscalculation turned a hopeful 10-hour run to the return checkpoint at Lower Kalskag into a 12-hour maneuver.
The trail his team took was actually a training route used by Aniak mushers and K300 competitors Richie Diehl and Isaac Underwood.
Kaiser said that at first he did not realize he was going the wrong direction because there were a few stray dog booties and marks from sled runners present on the trail. Unfamiliar landmarks revealed that Kaiser was headed in the wrong direction.
At the Lower Kalskag return checkpoint, Kaiser had fallen into the 12th position.
For more updates on the K300 tune into 640 am or stream the feed live at kyuk.org.