BETHEL, Alaska (KTUU) - Peter Kaiser has won his fourth straight Kuskokwim 300 on an icy trail that saw multiple high-profile mushers scratch. The 30 year-old Bethel native finished just after 9:00 a.m. Sunday, followed nearly two hours later by Iditarod veteran Joar Ulsom. Nine-time K300 champion Jeff King came in third place.
The total purse for the K300 is $150,000 with Kaiser picking up $25,000 plus an undetermined bonus. Race manager Madelene Reichard says that Kaiser told he her was happy to finish a race with very difficult conditions.
When asked about the glare ice on the trail, Reichard says the K300 is known to be a tough race and the mushers knew what they were getting into. She said that none of the finishers had expressed anything negative about the race.
The K300 was forced to find a new route for safety reasons. Instead of running to Aniak mushers ran two loops to Bogus Creek, stopping in Tuluksak and Bethel. Reichard said the new route was a challenging mental game for participating teams.
Iditarod and Yukon Quest veterans Aaron Burmeister, Jessie Holmes, Brent Sass, Cim Smyth and Hugh Neff all scratched from the race. Reichard said the mushers who scratched did so with their dog’s welfare and with upcoming races in mind.