Three local mushers sign up for 2014 Iditarod

by Angela Denning-Barnes on July 1, 2013

Mike Williams Jr. at the 2013 Iditarod finish line.

Mike Williams Jr. at the 2013 Iditarod finish line.

Three local mushers will be returning to the thousand-mile race trail in the 2014 Iditarod. Saturday was the opening day for entries and Pete Kaiser of Bethel, Mike Williams Jr. of Akiak and Richie Diehl of Aniak all signed up to compete. All three are veterans. It will be Diehl’s second running of the race, and Williams’ and Kaiser’s fifth.

Last year, Kaiser finished 13th, Williams took 23rd, and Diehl finished in 35th place.

The entry fee is $3,000 dollars. Williams won the money back in a drawing at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Picnic, also held Saturday.

Mushers expect to pay about $25,000 just to get to the starting line. They rely on sponsorships to help them make ends meet.

Fifty-two mushers have signed up for the race. Organizers expect 15 to 20 more teams to join the field before the November 29 deadline.

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