2008 Kuskokwim River Sled Dog Races
People who come to
In the middle of January each year,
The two shorter races tend to be comprised of mushers from
This year’s K-300 will, as usual, host some of the top names in dog mushing: Martin Buser (2007 champ), Jeff King (winner of the most K-300s), Dee Dee Jonrowe (former resident of
The undisputed master of the
In fact, no other musher has won our race more than twice, and only seven mushers have done that: Martin Buser in 2007 and 1994; Charlie Boulding in 2000 and 1996; Sonny Russell in 1990 and 1989; Rick Mackey in 1987 and 1985; Bethel musher Myron Angstmann in 1986 and 1983 (and competing again this year for the first time in a few); Rick Swenson in 1984 and the first K-300 in 1980; and Jerry Austin in 1982 and 1981. The only woman who has ever won the K-300 was—who else?—Susan Butcher, in 1988.
This year’s field also includes some second generation mushers: Martin Buser’s son Rohn, who was last year’s Rookie of the Year, finishing in 4th place; and Mike Williams Sr.’s son, Mike Jr, who was also a rookie on the K-300 last year, and was the 2006 winner of the Bogus Creek 150.
Previous years have seen offspring competing with their dads as well. Jeff King’s daughter
The final field of mushers for 2008 numbers 22. Of those, three are women: Dee Dee Jonrowe, Melissa Owens, and Jessica Klejka. Dee Dee is a veteran of numerous K-300s. Melissa and Jessica are both rookies. Jessica is a senior at
Visiting mushers should be settled in with their host families now. The veterinary staff went to each home today to do dog team checks and assure that each dog is healthy, not palpably pregnant, and vaccinated. Tonight will be the televised meeting where mushers—in the order they signed up—will choose their starting positions for the race. Two dog teams will leave the shoot every two minutes (with the time difference made up during the mandatory rests) until all teams are on their way to Aniak in the K-300, and to Bogus Creek in the Bogus 150. The Dash is a mass-start race, with all teams lined up across the river and taking off at the sound of the starting pistol. It will begin and end on Saturday.
Tomorrow is the big day for the longer races. The Bogus 150 starts at 5 pm, and the K-300 at 6:30pm. The big fireworks extravaganza (that would be the one we can’t have in July because it doesn’t get dark enough) starts right afterward. Your blogger-on-location will be there to bring you all the excitement, in words and pictures.
Photo by The Tundra PA, of Melissa Owens and her dog team out for a practice run.
Labels: Dog Mushing