Stories about sporting events.

Katie Basile / KYUK

All the races that occur the weekend of the Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race only happen with the support of volunteers all along the trail. The reporters in Rachel DeHaan’s third grade class at Gladys Jung Elementary School give us an inside look at some of these important helpers.

13 Teams Rocket Out of Bethel on Akiak Dash

Jan 21, 2017
Dean Swope / KYUK

13 mushers are racing on the Kuskokwim River to Akiak and back this afternoon in subzero temperatures. The mass start began at 2:00 p.m. in Bethel on the river. The winner takes home $3,700 out of the grand total purse of $20,000. Last year’s Champion Greg Larson is not racing this year, but 2016 second place finisher Thomas Carl and third place finisher Katie Lamb return in pursuit of the title.

2017 Akiak Dash Field:

Dean Swope / KYUK

Yukon Quest champion and 2016 Kuskokwim 300 runner-up Brent Sass is the first musher out of Aniak on the trail back downriver to Kalskag in the 2017 Kuskokwim 300. Sass blew through the checkpoint at 1:17 p.m. Saturday afternoon. He was followed five minutes later by Jessie Holmes, who arrived first into the checkpoint after racing at the front of the 20-team field since it began Friday night in Bethel.  

Katie Basile / KYUK

Lewis Pavilla is the first four-time winner of the Bogus Creek 150. In the closing portion of the race, he passed rookie Maurice Andrews, who had held the race lead up until the final checkpoint of Tuluksak. Running a string of dogs from the Max Olick Bad River Kennel in Kwethluk, Pavilla arrived in Bethel at 11:07 a.m. Saturday morning. He told KYUK he was in good spirits with the victory, despite the deep cold that set the tone for the race. 

“It feels good, a little frostbitten all over my face. I lost my dry face mask somewhere back there,” said Pavilla.

Dean Swope / KYUK

Maurice Andrews was the first musher to leave Tuluksak early Saturday morning, leading a field of nine mushers racing down the remaining stretch of tundra and the Kuskokwim River to Bethel. He left at 5:49 a.m.., racing in front of three-time past champion Lewis Pavilla, who left 18 minutes behind at 6:07 a.m.

Dean Swope / KYUK

8:10 a.m. Saturday Update:

Three teams have now left Kalskag: Jessie Holmes was first out at 7:43 a.m., followed by Brent Sass at 7:49 a.m., and Ray Redington Jr. at 7:54 a.m. These teams spent three hours resting.

Original post:

Nine teams are racing to Bogus Creek and back in the 2017 Bogus Creek 150.
Ben Matheson / KYUK

Nine mushers are racing teams up the Kuskokwim River on the coldest trail in years to the midway point of the Bogus Creek 150.  

 This year will see a different winner than the past two years as 2015 and 2016 champion Jackie Larson of Napaskiak is racing the Kuskokwim 300 this race.  The early trail takes teams up the Kuskokwim River through Kwethluk, Akiak, overland to Tuluksak to avoid a section of especially-rough trail, and then back to the Kuskokwim River.   

Jeff King hits the trail in the start of the 2017 Kuskokwim 300.
Ben Matheson / KYUK

More than 50 miles into the Kuskokwim 300, Nenana musher Jessie Holmes races at the front of the competition after passing through the Tuluksak checkpoint. The first musher to leave Bethel was the first to arrive at and leave from Tuluksak, departing at 11:02 p.m. with all 12 of his dogs. Ray Redington Jr. was 29 minutes behind, leaving the checkpoint at 11:31 p.m.  

Katie Basile / KYUK

Follow along this weekend as we post a series of interviews featuring mushers from the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta in conversation with student journalists from the Lower Kuskokwim School District. First up, we have Bethel mushers Pete Kaiser and Victoria Hardwick.

Mushers listen to rules and trail conditions for the Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race in the Bethel Long House Hotel on January 19, 2017. Roger Lee is sitting in the front, right corner, taking notes.
Dean Swope / KYUK

Friday, on the Kuskokwim River outside Bethel, nine mushers and their teams will dash under the start banner for the Bogus Creek 150. An hour and a half later, 20 more will follow over a trail twice as long in the 38th Annual Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race. At their mandatory meeting before the big day, KYUK talked with mushers and race officials about the trail ahead.