Sunday, January 30, 2022

It's a 6-peat for Pete Kaiser

Peter Kaiser of Bethel, Alaska has reclaimed his title of Kuskokwim 300 Champion this morning as he crossed the finish in a fast and strongly contested race for the win. The "King of the Kusko" managed to keep 2019 Kusko Champ Matt Failor and 2021 Champ Richie Diehl behind him in the last leg of the race. Friends and roomies Failor and Diehl would duke it out for second place, with Travis Beals hot on their heels trying to play spoiler. 

Kaiser and team were met by Kaiser's daughter running up to give her dad a big hug. An enthusiastic crowd welcomed their hometown hero home. The trail this year was a fast one with very little weather issues - though Pete Kaiser's team got turned around coming into Aniak. With Pete's sixth win he is now the second most winning musher of the Kusko, with only 3 more wins to tie Jeff King's 9-time record.

Matt Failor and Richie Diehl came in 2nd and 3rd respectively with Travis Beals fourth and Joar Leifseth Ulsom rounding out the top five. Cim Smyth is the 6th musher in. Aaron Burmeister should come in soon.

Livefeed of the 2022 Kusko 300 Finish

Friday, January 28, 2022

2022 John Beargrease Race Preview

Mushing fans are getting a lot of mushing in this weekend. The Kusko begins tonight in Bethel, the Pedigree Stage Stop starts in earnest Saturday, and the John Beargrease will take off from Duluth, Minnesota Sunday morning. (There's also the Willow 300 set for Monday, January 31.) But for fans in the Lower 48, their mini Iditarod is where the action is. The John Beargrease is the premiere sled dog marathon in "the States" and has become more and more popular in recent years. The field set for Sunday is a good mix of veterans and rookies, and the weather looks to be just about perfect for the start (if not a bit warm). 

Weather predicted for the start is 10F and partly sunny. Spectators won't have to freeze to cheer on their teams. 23 teams are signed up. Several past champions are back to try their hand at another chance to win. A prominent Iditarod musher is running their rookie Beargrease this year - having recently moved from Alaska to the Lower 48. Some rookies are looking for redemption after having to scratch in previous Beargrease runs. Other teams are looking to improve their standings. All are ready to have another fun adventure with their team.

So which teams should we keep an eye on? I'll admit I am not as familiar with this race and most of these teams as I am with races and teams in Alaska. I'm still learning, but there are some sure bets if you're still working on your Fantasy Mushing team.

Blake Freking - The two-time Beargrease champion most recently won in 2019. The Freking's have an amazing program often a hybrid of Siberians and Alaskans running in their team. Look for Blake to really push to be a front runner, maybe not in the first leg, but he'll stay competitive throughout the race and can make a move when possible.

Erin Letzring - The reigning champion came as a surprise to many fans who didn't realize the musher was no rookie with winning. Erin grew up with mushing and was married to Beargrease champion Ryan Redington. Some of her team were from the kennel she shared with Ryan. When they split, they also split the kennel. Erin and Ryan battled it out for the win last year, and look for a repeat of that this year.

Laura Neese - Laura is the front running musher for Nature's Kennel and has racked up a lot of miles in the last 7 years. She is competitive, and takes great care of her crew. She is my outside chance to take the race, and it's probably a long shot with all of the seasoned champions on this list, but don't count her out. If nothing else, she should be able to get you some solid points for your fantasy team.

Nathan Schroeder - The four-time Beargrease champion last won in 2016. The DoodleDog Kennel trained hard this season and it wouldn't be surprising to see Nathan challenge for the top spot. Schroeder has better luck with the Beargrease than he does Iditarod (he's gone backwards in the standings, but hasn't run it since 2017). 

Ryan Anderson - The three-time champion is once again taking on the marathon. Ryan's last win was 2017, so he's due another win. Anderson traded wins with Schroeder before Redington started winning, so it will be an interesting battle between all of the teams. How it all shakes out will make for an exciting race.

Ryan Redington - The grandson of the Father of the Iditarod has his eyes squarely set on Iditarod 50. With no Redington having won Joe's race, the pressure has built to a substantial level for the 50th anniversary. Ryan is running this season calling it "Redington's Run" (taking from the Hobo Jim song with the same title that the balladeer wrote after Joe Sr.'s passing in 2002.) Redington was dealt a blow in training a few weeks ago when he and his team were attacked by an unknown assailant on a snowmachine (sorry, outsiders, I just can't call it a snowmobile). Time will tell how that affects his race on the Beargrease trail. Redington is a two-time Beargrease champion.

Wade Marrs - While rookie sits next to his name on this race, Wade is no rookie when it comes to sled dog races. Marrs is coming off a 4th place finish in Iditarod 2021 and a recent move to the states. Marrs is sitting out the 2022 Iditarod due to their Covid-19 Policy requiring all participants to be vaccinated, so the Beargrease is Marrs' big event of the season. Wade has trained with Ryan Redington quite a bit this season and no doubt has gleaned some info from the champion racer. Expect Wade to play spoiler for many teams in this race.

How to Follow
It's unclear if there will be a livefeed of the start/finish. Last year both QRillPAWS and local news affiliate WDIO shared the start. There is a graphic on the official website saying "watch the race - coming soon" which I would take to mean that there will be something, but clicking it just takes you to the main page of the website. I'll keep looking and will update the blog if I find anything. (I do see on another page in the website that Mushing Midwest! will supply a livefeed. When I find the link I'll post it.)

GPS Tracker
With the Beargrease being partnered with Qrill Pets as part of the Qrill PAWS, the last couple of years the race has had two sets of trackers, one through our beloved Track Leaders, and the QrillPAWS system. I'm not finding any info on QPAWS this year, but they do have the trackleaders link up and ready to go come Sunday. 

Social Media
As with most sled dog races, the Beargrease is fairly active on their facebook page and they do have a twitter account though it isn't very active. And for a few pics check them out on Instagram

Schedule of Events

Saturday, January 29
8am-1:00pm Vet Checks
3pm-ish? Handler & Musher Meetings (Bib Draw)

Sunday, January 30
8am - Musher Meet & Greet
10am - Race Start

Comment below with any thoughts about who you think are favored to win. If you like what you see and want to support my addiction (I mean HOBBY) of following these races and stalking (I mean cheering on) the mushers, you can buy me a slice of pizza (that really goes to paying for my internet/web expenses).

2022 Kusko LIVEFEED from KYUK

Thursday, January 27, 2022

2022 John Beargrease Musher Roster

Alaska isn't the only state with a major race this weekend. The Premiere sled dog marathon in the Lower 48 takes off this weekend as well! The John Beargrease is the first leg of the "World Series of Sled Dogs" that was founded several years ago by The Iditarod partnered with QrillPet. 

Like many of the races featured on this blog, the Beargrease boasts a very competitive field while also welcoming many "rookies" each year. This year is no exception, and mushing fans may notice a few names that they haven't seen before in this race, but who are also not unfamiliar to the sport.

As with all of the musher rosters I've done this season, the teams are listed alphabetically until the bib draw is announced. I will edit with bib numbers. So, without further adieu, let's check out the teams!

Alice White (Wolf Moon Kennel) - Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr
Andy Heerschap (Paws on Patrol Mushing) - Facebook
Blake Freking (Manitou Crossing Kennels) - Website / Facebook / Instagram  
Colleen Wallin (Silver Creek Sled Dogs) - Instagram 
Erin Altemus (Mush Lake Racing) - Website / Facebook 
Erin Letzring (Miles Ahead Racing Kennel) - Website / Facebook
Ero Wallin (Silver Creek Sled Dogs) - Facebook / Instagram 
Jen Freking (Manitou Crossing Kennels) - Website / Facebook / Instagram  
Jesse Terry (On the Land) - Facebook / Instagram
John Fisher (Meander Mountain Huskies) - Facebook 
Katherine Langlais (Akkada Kennel) - Website / Facebook / Instagram
Kevin Mathis (Go the Distance) - Facebook
Laura Neese (Nature's Kennel) - Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Liza (Deitzen) Weaver (Team Evergreen Kennel) - Website / Facebook 
Mary Manning (Doodledog Kennel) - Facebook / Twitter
Nathan Schroeder (Nathan Schroeder Mushing) - Facebook / Twitter
Nick Vigilante (Nathan Schroeder Mushing) - Facebook
Rémy Leduc (Akkada Kennel) - Website / Facebook / Instagram
Ryan Anderson (AnderTier Racing) - Facebook
Ryan Redington (Redington Mushing) - Website / Facebook / Instagram
Sarah Keefer (Redington Mushing) - Website / Facebook
Shawn McCarty (Hauling Dogs Kennel) - Website / Facebook
Wade Marrs (Stump Jumpin' Kennel) - Website / Facebook / Instagram

Comment below with any thoughts about the roster, or any corrections. If you like what you see and want to support my addiction (I mean HOBBY) of following these races and stalking (I mean cheering on) the mushers, you can buy me a slice of pizza (that really goes to paying for my internet/web expenses).

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

2022 Kuskokwim 300 Preview

It's a busy weekend for mushing fans. Three major mid-distance races will happen as well as a major stage-stop race. Good luck keeping it all straight (but I'm trying to help with that!) A race many are anxious to see get underway is the Kuskokwim 300. The premiere mid-distance race in Western Alaska, the race runs out of Bethel into coastal villages before returning to Bethel. Teams from all over Alaska have flown in to be part of this race, but what makes the Kusko special is how many local village teams enter and are competitive. When Joe Redington Sr. and his merry crew worked to get the Iditarod off the ground, one of their main goals was to keep mushing a part of the village communities. The argument could be made that the Kusko, and not the Iditarod, is the reason for the healthy mushing community in Western Alaska.

Teams arrived in Bethel Tuesday and Wednesday and settled in with their host families. Due to continued concerns with the Covid-19 pandemic, all participants (including volunteers and race officials, as well as handlers) must be fully vaccinated. Teams will self test and must show proof of a negative result by Thursday afternoon. Banquets, checkpoints, etc are closed to spectators, and even the start and finish spectators are asked to remain distanced from each other. 

Last year was very much the same with the covid precautions, and the race went off without any problems. It also did not discourage teams from traveling in, though this year the race limited how many "outside" teams could attend. There are three Kusko Champions on the roster as well as some other very competitive teams. 16 teams are on the roster (as of January 26) so let's take a look at the front runners.

Aaron Burmeister - Aaron nearly ran down Dallas Seavey and team during the 2021 Iditarod, and I still say he would be the 2021 Iditarod Champion had they been on the traditional trail to Nome. They simply ran out of room to catch the young gun. Needless to say, Aaron has a highly competitive dog team and with this supposedly being his final year of competitive racing, expect Burmeister to have a solid finish (though all experience points to him wanting to keep his team strong for Iditarod).

Cim Smyth - Known for fast finishes, Cim's team is always one to watch. Cim is a multiple time champion of the Tustumena 200 as well as a few other mid-distance races. He comes from Iditarod Mushing "royalty" as his father was part of the "Iditarod Trailbreakers" (mushers from the first ten years of Iditarod including the first). Cim is what they call a "dog man". Look for him to have one of the fastest finishes no matter what place he comes in. (I wonder if he still brings his running shoes?)

Fr. Alexander Larson - Father Alexander Larson ran the Kusko last year as a rookie and managed an impressive fifth place in a highly competitive field. I feel bad putting him on the list only because I worry it will jinx him, but the Russian Orthodox priest probably does not believe in such nonsense. Larson has been a constant on the mushing scene as of late in and around Bethel. Expect another solid performance from his team.

Joar Leifseth Ulsom - The 2018 Iditarod Champion may not be a Kusko champion, but that shouldn't stop people from adding him to their fantasy mushing team. Ulsom will also use this race as a sort of training run for the Iditarod, but that shouldn't stop him from challenging for first. Do not be surprised if he manages to pull off the win, though he's in for a fight with such a competitive field.

Matthew Failor - the 2019 Kusko Champion upset the apple cart when he won considering for several years before that it was all Pete Kaiser. Matt is a positive force on the trail and has really come into his own in recent years. His team is becoming one of the teams to always watch to place near the top. It will be interesting to see how his new hip holds out against the famed Kusko winds and weather. (I'm still impressed he ran Iditarod just before going in for hip replacement surgery, like whaaaaat?!) 

Pete Kaiser - The Five-Time Kusko Champion (and 2019 Iditarod Champion, but who cares, right?) is one of the hometown heroes of Bethel. These trails are his home base and his team knows how to win. Don't expect Kaiser to be anywhere but near the front. Will he go for six? Time will tell, but it wouldn't surprise me if he did manage that impressive feat.

Richie Diehl - The reigning Kusko champ is another one of the hometown heroes. Close friends with Kaiser, it's a joy when either of the two teams win. While they do share quite a few bloodlines within their kennels (I mean, the breeding programs are gonna be a little smaller out there anyway), the mushers are completely separate in kennels and in racing style. They say defending your title is harder than winning you first, so it's a wait and see what Richie can manage to pull off, but he's another safe bet to do well in this race.

Travis Beals - No list of who's who is complete if you don't add Travis to the list (well, when he's on the roster anyway, otherwise that's just awkward). Beals' team dealt with insane wind and weather during the Knik 200, and looking at the weather report for the Kusko it's looking more like the team will think they're on a picnic in comparison. Travis could be a dark horse in this competition, so keep an eye on those Turning Head Kennel dogs.

How to Follow

Unlike the bigger races like the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod, there is very little promise of any video coverage. With the temps dropping so low, even the facebook live feeds we've grown accustomed to cannot be guaranteed. Cold air zaps batteries faster than lighting, and who has the time or ability to keep their fingers exposed long enough to even press "start"?! That being said, the Kusko crew do their best to give us a looksee into the start, fireworks, and finish. So, how can race fans follow along when a race doesn't have Iditarod Insider like coverage?

Official Website

The Kusko's website is pretty slick. You can follow all of the races, fundraising and news from their site. It's easy to navigate and they have great musher bios. Be sure to check it out.

GPS Tracker

Real time updates will come through the trackers as always. With the cold there may be more glitches than we'd like (I blame the aliens!) but there's not much we can do. Cold and technology don't get along. You can follow the trackers here, but they won't go live until closer to go time on Friday.

Radio Broadcast

KYUK Radio will broadcast the start which begins at 6:30pm (start listening at 6pm for pre-race info). You can listen to the broadcast online through this link.

Social Media

Updates will most likely be posted on the race's facebook page, and possibly their twitter account. Photo updates should come from Instagram. They typically try to have a facebook live feed. If you are tweeting, instagramming, etc. the traditional hashtag is #K300.

KYUK is also plans to post updates on their facebook page, including facebook interviews with the mushers from the last week or so.

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, January 26
Vet Checks

Thursday, January 27
Vet Checks
Covid Tests are due
5pm - Musher Meeting
6pm - Bib Draw (they plan to livestream)

Friday, January 28
6:30pm - 2020 Kuskokwim 300 START
7:15pm - "The Lead Dog Light Show" presented by First National Bank Alaska

Saturday, January 29
2pm - Akiak Dash Mass Start

Monday, January 30
8pm - Musher Banquet (closed to public, planned livestream)

Comment below with any thoughts about who you think are favored to win. If you like what you see and want to support my addiction (I mean HOBBY) of following these races and stalking (I mean cheering on) the mushers, you can buy me a slice of pizza (that really goes to paying for my internet/web expenses).

Sunday, January 23, 2022

2022 Kuskokwim 300 Musher Roster

The Kuskokwim 300 is set to kick off on January 28 in Bethel, Alaska. The premier mid-distance race in all of Western Alaska, the Kusko boasts a highly competitive field that brings teams from all over the state as well as many local entries - many of whom are virtually unknown to folks outside of the Kusko region. While races like the Iditarod say their goal is to encourage and protect "village dog teams", the Kusko seems to be the one doing most of the leg work for them. More and more hometown heroes of the region are signing up each year, and this year's roster is no exception. Even with the heightened Covid-19 policies limiting outside, the roster is at a healthy 16 teams, with several coming from "the road system". The roster also has several past champions, including reigning champion Richie Diel, 5-time champ Pete Kaiser, and 2019 champ Matthew Failor. So, let's take a look at who we have lined up, shall we? Note that until bib numbers are given the list is organized alphabetically. 

1 Sam Brewer (Tailwind Kennel) - Website / Facebook / Instagram
2 Cim Smyth (Perserverance Springs Farm) - Facebook
3 Nate DeHaan (Old Friendly Dog Farm) - Facebook / Instagram
4 Richie Diehl (Real Diehl Racing) - Facebook
5 Jason Pavila (Bad River Kennel) - Facebook / Instagram
6 Fr. Alexander Larson (PKA Larson Kennel) - can't find any online presence.
7 Aaron Burmeister (Alaskan Wildstyle Racing) - Facebook
8 Eddie Burke Jr. (Alaskan Wildstyle Racing) - Facebook / Instagram
9 Gabe Dunham (Evermore Adventures) - Website / Facebook / Instagram
10 Joar Leifseth-Ulsom (Sivo Racing Kennel) - Website / Facebook / Instagram
11 John Snyder (Snyder Kennel) - can't find any online presence.
12 Matthew Failor (17th Dog) - Website / Facebook / Instagram
13 Isaac Underwood (Underwood Kennel) - can't find any online presence.
14 Lev Shvarts (Team Ollie) - Website / Facebook 
15 Travis Beals (Turning Heads Kennel) - Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
16 Pete Kaiser (Kaiser Racing Kennel) - Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

Comment below with any thoughts about the roster, or any corrections. If you like what you see and want to support my addiction (I mean HOBBY) of following these races and stalking (I mean cheering on) the mushers, you can buy me a slice of pizza (that really goes to paying for my internet/web expenses).

1/27/2022 - edited to reflect the bib number for each team.

Friday, January 21, 2022

2022 Willow 300 Musher Roster

Since its beginning five years ago, the Willow 300 has proved to be one of the most competitive and popular mid-distance sled dog races in Alaska. 2022 looks to be no different. There is also a 150mile race this year that also saw quite a few teams join up. The final roster (before, of course, the bib draw where we'll know the for sure, for sure roster) boasts 35 names, with the cap being 40. Until the Bib Draw (if they have one) I'll list mushers alphabetically. As I took this from the race's official list most teams have their kennel name attached. If this is a popular feature I'll add them to my other rosters going forward? Many thanks to the Willow 300 for doing most of the work! For now the roster is as follows:

Anja Radano (Swamp Dog Kennel) - Facebook
Anna Berington (Seeing Double Kennel) - Website / Instagram
Benjamin Good (Good Alaska Mushing Co.) - Facebook / Instagram
Cody Waterbury (Shameless Huskies Kennel) - FacebookKennel Facebook 
Dwayne Beals (Sled Dog News Kennel) - Website / Facebook 
Eric Kelly (Day Break Mushing) - Facebook / Instagram
Gerhardt Thiart (Seavey's Ididaride) - Website / Facebook 
Grayson Bruton (Seavey's Ididaride) - Facebook / Instagram 
Hugh Neff (Jim Lanier's Northern Whites) - Facebook / Instagram
Hunter Keefe (Redington Mush Alaska) - Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Isaac Teaford (Dallas Seavey Racing) - Facebook
Jeff King (Husky Homestead) - Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter
Joshua Armstrong (Cim Smyth's Kennel?) - Facebook / Instagram
Joshua McNeal (Crooked Creek Kennel) - Website / Facebook / Instagram
Joshua Robbins (Evermore Adventures?) - Facebook / Outreach 22 / Kennel Facebook
Julie Ahnen (Team Can’t Stop) - Facebook / Instagram 
Karin Henderickson (Blue on Black Kennels) - Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Kiana Korta (Trail Breaker Kennel) - Website / Facebook / Instagram
Kristy Berington (Seeing Double Kennel) - Website / Instagram
Lara Kittelson (Seaveys Ididaride) - Facebook / Instagram
Matt Paveglio (Shameless Huskies) - Facebook / Instagram
Michael Dolinar (Sivo Racing) - Facebook / Instagram
Mitch Seavey (Seavey's Ididaride) - Website / Facebook / Instagram
Nic Petit (Team Petit) - Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Ramey Smyth (Smyth Racing) - Facebook
Riley Dyche (Dark Horse Racing) - Website / Facebook / Instagram
Shantel Wiley (Battle Dogs) - Facebook / Kennel Facebook / Instagram
Tonya Helm (Lost Creek Kennel) - Facebook
Travis Vanderhoof (Dream Team Kennels) - Facebook / Instagram
Will Rhodes (Mackey's Distance Racing) - Website / Facebook / Instagram

1/27/2022 - Edited to reflect two more teams withdrawn due to date change and/or weather. 
1/23/2022 - Edited to take off Brent Sass as he has withdrawn prior to race start due to a broken down dog truck. Thank you MeowVT for the heads up! 

Comment below with any thoughts about the roster, or any corrections. If you like what you see and want to support my addiction (I mean HOBBY) of following these races and stalking (I mean cheering on) the mushers, you can buy me a slice of pizza (that really goes to paying for my internet/web expenses).

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Sass battles extreme temperatures to win Copper Basin 300

Brent Sass and Lead Dogs at the finish of the
2022 Copper Basin 300. January 10, 2022
Screencapture from feed by Kale Casey Live.
42 teams originally signed up for the 2022 Copper Basin 300, by race week the roster dwindled to 25, by bib draw 21 teams made up the official roster. The weather played a huge factor into the roster changes. Many teams withdrew after a very difficult december full of storms dumping feet of snow - kennels spent all their time digging out, and unable to train properly. Other's withdrew once the forecast came out that the Copper Basin was looking at temps between -40F and -50F. 

The cold did not disappoint - mushers woke up to at least -40F on race day. Two teams ended up withdrawing just hours before the start due to trucks that seized up and refused to start in the extreme cold. Four-time and reigning Copper Basin Champion Nicolas Petit was the first to announce withdrawal because of a frozen dog truck. Rob Cooke's announcement would soon follow.

With the reigning champ out of the way, the race was wide open for another team to take the spot. Most believed Brent Sass to be the favorite. Living off grid in the interior, Brent's team was most capable to handle the weather being thrown at them. Jessie Holmes was another favorite for similar reasons, but the reality tv turned competitive musher ended up scratching midway through the race. Matt Hall, Joar Leifseth Ulsom, and Paige Drobny would prove they weren't willing to just hand Sass the win. The four teams led the race and came in with strong, happy dogs. 

Each team went into the Copper Basin hoping for a solid training run, every musher - scratched or finished - have said that while the cold was at time brutal they couldn't be more proud of their dogs. The Red Lantern went to the Shaytaan Siberian B-Team. While Rob Cooke was sidelined with truck problems, he got his second string to the start and allowed musher Giordano Tarara to continue with his first Copper Basin 300. Tarara did very well, even after having to drop several veteran dogs. He ran much of the race with more dogs running their first 300 mile race than he had veterans. Tarara wrote on his facebook page: "this race has taught me some things:
- That being able to take a shower again whenever you want is really beautiful
- That in a race the miles are fucking longer than the kilometers
- That if you have the strength to not give up, the results always come."

The Copper Basin proved itself to once again be the toughest 300 miles in Alaska. Congratulations to all of the teams who accomplished whatever it was they set out to do. On to the next race!

Friday, January 7, 2022

2022 Copper Basin 300 Race Preview

The Copper Basin 300 is set to head out at 10am on Saturday and forecast predicts another COLD one (at last glance it should be around -40F at the start) and it could be another breezy race (though hopefully nothing like last weekend). Still the roster boasts a competitive field as well as some rookies working to qualify for their Iditarod and Quest runs.

While the roster is a little on the small side (for CB300) there are still 25+ teams set to run - though final count won't be official until the bib draw Friday night. Teams have posted to their social media pages that they were making their way to Glenallen. 

Let's take a look at the top teams that should challenge for first.

Brent Sass - The three-time Yukon Quest Champion has proven to once again be one of the top mushers in any field. Sass has shared a lot during the training season of just the daily trials and struggles of running a champion level kennel. He's shared video of the slow going of putting in a trail, to breaking trail, and losing a snow machine (for you outsiders you call it a snowmobile) to overflow. Sass lives off grid in the interior of Alaska and should be well suited for the crazy cold temps the racers will face this weekend.

Jeff Deeter - Deeter was scheduled to run in the Knik 200 last weekend, however the severe snow storms that the Interior of Alaska has faced most of the winter set back his training. He posted earlier this week that he is bringing his core group of Iditarod dogs to this race but is looking for this to be more of a training run. He DID use a "however" throwing in the possibility that should his team look strong, he'll challenge for the top spot.

Joar Leifseth Ulsom - The 2018 Iditarod Champion and new dad is starting his season in the "toughest 300 miles" race. Joar is not good at sharing what his plans are for any given race, but it'd be easy to guess that he will be working hard for a top finish. He did come in second last season.

Matt Hall - Matt posted that he was on the fence for several days if he was going to come down to the race or not. The -40 temps had him second guessing his choices, but he is headed for the race today. Look for Matt to put up a strong race.

Nicolas Petit - The four-time and reigning Copper Basin Champion looks to keep the streak alive and snag a fifth title this weekend. Petit won the Knik 200 last weekend with seemingly little problem with the wind and overflow, so look for him to once again take the lead early and hold on to it. He is, in my mind, the king of the mid-distance races.

Travis Beals - Travis came in second at this year's Knik 200 race, and won the humanitarian award for best dog care. Beals has been climbing steadily as one of the foremost mushers in this sport, and his season has started off incredibly strong. He'll no doubt want to keep the momentum going for this race.

How to Follow
While covid is still a concern, last year proved that - for the most part - mushing races are relatively safe for all participants and so rules are a little more lax. It also helps that most mushers and volunteers are vaxxed as it's a requirement for the Iditarod and everyone must be vaxxed well in advance of that race. 

GPS Tracker
As fans have come expect, there is once again a GPS tracker to follow your favorite teams! Many thanks to TrackLeaders for providing the technology needed to make this possible. You can find the link to track the 2022 race here.

Radio Broadcast
KCAM Radio will broadcast the start beginning with musher interviews at 9:30am. If you're in the area you can listen to the broadcast on AM 790, or online through this link.

Social Media
Updates will most likely be posted on the race's facebook page, and possibly their twitter account. They do plan to have a live feed that you can stream from their facebook page or their website, however they noted in a post today that with the forecasted weather they cannot promise the feed won't die. They will also livefeed or record the first five finishes of the race. If you are tweeting, instagramming, etc. the traditional hashtag is #CB300.

KCAM normally posts updates throughout the weekend on the race on facebook as well. 

Schedule of Events

Friday, January 7
9am-4pm Registration
10am-4pm Vet Checks
6pm Handler & Musher Meetings, Meet and Greet, and Bib Draw

Saturday, January 8
10am - Race Start

Will you be watching? Who are you hoping takes the win? Comment below with your thoughts!

Like what you see and want to help offset costs to keep this blog running? You can send me a slice of pizza (that is code for "pay for internet and server fees"). 

Thursday, January 6, 2022

2022 Copper Basin 300 Musher Roster

Once again, I've compiled the list of links for each musher currently set to run this weekend's race. If I have missed any links, or if the roster changes between now and Saturday let me know and we'll get it fixed. Once the Bib numbers are drawn I'll edit the list to reflect everyone's starting order. The musher list is taken directly from the race's website. Here's hoping this race is a little less windy. It'll no doubt be cold enough without the added windchill.

Comment below with any thoughts about the roster, or any corrections. If you like what you see and want to support my addiction (I mean HOBBY) of following these races and stalking (I mean cheering on) the mushers, you can buy me a slice of pizza (that really goes to paying for my internet/web expenses).

Brent Sass - Website / Facebook / Instagram
Dane Baker - Website / Facebook / Kennel Facebook / Instagram
Dylan Robins - Facebook / Instagram
Elliot Hubbard - Website / Facebook / Kennel Facebook / Instagram
Giordano Tarara - Facebook
Jacob Witkop - Facebook 
Jeffrey Deeter - Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Jesse Salyer - Facebook / Instagram
Jessie Holmes - Website / Facebook / Instagram
Joar Leifseth Ulsom - Website / Facebook / Instagram
Joe Taylor - Website / Facebook / Instagram
Lauro Eklund - Website / Facebook / Facebook 2 / Instagram / Instagram 2
Lindsay Llanes -  Facebook / Instagram
Martin Buser - Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Matt Hall - Website / Facebook / Instagram 
Matt Paveglio - Facebook / Instagram
Michael Baker - Facebook / Instagram
Misha Wiljes - Website / Facebook
Nicolas Petit - Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Paige Drobny - Website / Facebook / Instagram
Robert Cooke - Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Shaynee Traska - Website / Facebook / Instagram
Tekla Butcher-Monson - Website / Facebook / Instagram

Musher roster as of January 8, 2022 at 9:44am (Alaska).