Lewis Pavila blazes trail for 3rd Bogus win

by Mark Arehart on January 19, 2013

Lewis Pavilla of Kwethluk races for Max Olick's Bad River Kennel.

Crossing the finish line in front of Bethel at 10:20 this morning, Lewis Pavila has won the 2013 Bogus Creek 150. This marks the third Bogus win for Pavila, the fourth in five years for Max Olick’s Bad River Kennel out of Kwethluk.

Jockeying for the lead early, Pavila secured the front well before the Tuluksak checkpoint on the way upriver. Jacki Larson and Steve Olive were just a few minutes behind Pavila between Tuluksak and the Bogus Creek checkpoint.

After the mandatory four hour layover in Bogus early this morning, Pavila stretched his lead to over twenty minutes over Larson and Olive. With the wind at his back on the way downriver, he would only gain more ground.

“That was a lot of help,” Pavila said of the tailwind. It took Pavila just 17 hours and 17 minutes to complete the trek that went from Bethel to Akichak, then past Akiak to Tuluksak and then Bogus Creek and back again.

He credits much of this and his two other Bogus wins to luck. He said the best part of the race is simple: going upriver with the dogs in the dark.

Pavila races for Max Olick’s Bad River Kennel in Kwethluk. Olick said that he is proud of the win, his kennel’s fifth in all, because of what they had to overcome. Fishing closures and a bear raiding Olick’s fish camp made it tough to find enough food for the dogs, he said. Trail conditions early in the year were poor at best, but Olick said his Kennel made it through.

Bad River Kennel has a bloodline from Iditarod and K300 winners Jeff King and Mitch Seavey. Pavila’s leaders are a five-year-old female named Gracie and a four-year-old female named Oprah.

Pavila won the race back-to-back in 2009 and 2010. His brother Herman “Punky” Pavila then won the 2011 Bogus 150.

After three wins, will Pavila ever move up to running the Kuskokwim 300?

“Someday, maybe someday,” he said.

Finishing 41 minutes behind Pavila is Jacki Larson of Napaskiak. Larson won the Bogus in 2007.

Steve Olive, of Bethel, finished third. He was just five minutes behind Larson. Olive’s career best was fifth in last year’s race.

Defending Bogus Creek 150 Champion, Jen Peeks of Bethel, came in fourth.

Rudy Demoski, Casie Stockdale, John George and Brian Berube round out he field. Bristol Bay Musher Wassillee Chocknok has yet to come in.

 

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