Bogus Creek 150 Update
The Bogus Creek 150 finished yesterday afternoon to a cheering crowd on the Kuskokwim River. The winner was Jackie Larson of Napaskiak with a time of 18 hours and 39 minutes.
The first six finishers came in with quite a bit of time between them; no photo-finishes there. The three women in the race, Angela, Bev and Jessica, were leapfrogging each other for the last five hours. Henry and Joan made it back to Bethel by snowmachine well ahead of Angela, and found Dutch and me at the finish line to give us an update. They reported that Angela’s race had gone well and she had no serious dog problems. The three she dropped at Tuluksak each had minor concerns; then she dropped two more in Kwethluk, so was down to the minimum finishing number of five dogs. Henry knew that with only five dogs, she wouldn’t be passing anyone on the way home.
As we waited at the finish line, I climbed up on top of the wooden rails on the back of my truck with the binoculars to get a better view. The last two miles of the race are visible from the finish line. Jessica Klejka finished in sixth place, so we all knew that Bev Hoffman and Angela would be next.
Two teams came out of Straight Slough on to the river together. The larger team was in front, so that had to be Bev. As we watched, Angela stayed right behind her. Angela was poling to help the dogs, Bev was not. With what seemed agonizing slowness, they marched around the curve of the river toward the finish. A hundred yards out, we saw Angela pull to one side and pick up a little and they were neck-and-neck. We held our breaths. Did her team have enough gas left in the tank to actually pull ahead of Bev? It seemed a possibility. We watched, straining forward, mentally trying to pull the dogs to us.
In the end, it was not to be. Bev finished a few seconds ahead of Angela, for seventh and eighth places, respectively. Theirs was the only close finish of the race. The Red Lantern (last place) came in a little over three hours after the winner.
The course record for the Bogus Creek 150 is 16 hours 23 minutes, set in 1999. The slowest winning time was the first year of the race, 1989, when it took the winner 23 hours 25 minutes. Angela’s finishing time as a rookie of 20 hours 35 minutes was well within those brackets, and a good showing for her first long race. She finished with a smile on her face and felt it was a good race. She’ll be back next year for another go at the Bogus 150.
Photos by The Tundra PA. Jackie Larson and team; Angela leaves the finish line.
Labels: Dog Mushing