Four-time Iditarod and Yukon Quest champion Lance Mackey plans to race the K300 this month. Mackey is one of 28 teams signed up to race the K300 which starts in Bethel January 18. It’s the largest field since 1994. The mushers hail from all over the state including two international mushers.
One musher is from Russia and another from Norway and they are now racing the same kennel out of Willow called Team Beringia. Joar Leifseth Ulsom is a 25-year-old from Norway. Last year he finished 6th in the Yukon Quest, his first race in North America. Running a second team from the kennel is 49-year-old Mikhail Telpin from Chukotka, Russia. He has mushed his whole life, hunting seals and walrus with dogs, and started to race in Russia in 1994.
The K300 field also includes most of the big Iditarod names: John Baker, Jeff King, the Busers, the Smyth brothers, Aliy Zirkle, Paul Gebhardt, Ken Anderson and others.
There are five local teams signed up so far. They are Pete Kaiser of Bethel, Mike Williams Jr. and Sr. of Akiak, and Richie Diehl and Isaac Underwood of Aniak. Four of the five local teams plan on racing the Iditarod in March.
Teams can still sign up for the K300 but the entry fee increased after the New Year.
Also happening the weekend of January 18 will be the K300 sister races: the Bogus Creek 150 and the 65-mile Akiak Dash.
For more information on the races, visit the K300 website.