by Delta Discovery Staff
Bethel musher Maurice Andrews of Glare Ice Kennel has won the Bethel Sprint Mushers Club Memorial race this past weekend. The two-day event was held February 1-2 on the Kuskokwim River. Racers mushed upriver, around the island, and then back for a total of approximately 20 miles.
“It’s real soft out there,” Andrews said at the finish line on Sunday, Day 2 of the race. It was snowing.
Andrews finished the race with Serious Business and Cricket in lead. The trail was slower on the second day with the fresh snowfall.
“It was really tough,” said Greg Larson of the trail. He mushes for Larson’s Kennel of Napaskiak.
Joe Demantle of Tuluksak said that he was chasing fellow musher Greg Larson on the trail.
“Calivkararpenga-am cali unuamek,” he said. “I had to work hard today, just like in Akiak.”
Larson and Demantle finished 1 and 2 in the recent Akiak Dash.
Fans, families of the mushers, handlers, and race sponsors were on the river to get the races underway. The dogs were barking and howling, eager to get going.
The temperature was in the single digits on Saturday. By Sunday it was warmer with temps climbing up to the high 20s.
On Day 1, Andrews and Demantle posted identical times, and were the fastest finishers with times of 1:17:11. For Day 2, Cameron Jackson of Akiak posted the fastest time of 1:43:09. He is a past Akiak Dash Champion, winning it in 2017. On his tail ten seconds behind was Kurtis George of Akiak.
The race was dedicated to mushers who have passed on including Elia Sallafie, Ron Egoak, and Eddie Simon. Their legacy lives on through the sport and tradition of dog racing on the Kuskokwim.
“We want to thank the K300 Race Committee for their support,” said Bethel Sprint Mushers Club Manager John Simon of Bethel. “It keeps mushing alive.”
Bethel Sprint Race Results
Place/Musher Day 1 Day 2 Total Time
1 Maurice Andrews 1:17:11 1:43:24 3:00:35
2 Greg Larson 1:19:26 1:43:41 3:03:07
3 Kurtis George 1:21:00 1:43:19 3:04:19
4 Cameron Jackson 1:23:24 1:43:09 3:06:33
5 Joe Demantle 1:17:11 1:49:25 3:06:36
6 Jackie Larson 1:18:01 1:52:18 3:10:18
7 Herman Phillip 1:21:39 1:57:11 3:18:50
8 Jason Pavila 1:22:43 2:10:57 3:33:09
9 Mike Williams Jr. 1:21:18 2:19:16 3:40:34
10 Tory Fitzpatrick 1:25:29 2:16:36 3:42:05
11 Solomon Olick 1:38:22 2:23:53 4:02:06
12 Carl Andrew 1:29:18 2:33:11 4:02:29