Congratulations to Pete Kaiser, our Iditarod Champion!

photo by Greg Lincoln

by Greg Lincoln

On behalf of the Delta Discovery and our family, we would like to say how proud we are of your great win and extend our sincere congratulations. This accomplishment will forever be an inspiration to the people who make Bethel and the YK delta their home. You are our hero!

What resonates so much is the respectful way Pete ran his race showing consideration for his fellow musher – your friend closer than a brother out on the trail, the reassuring thought that you are not alone if you ever find yourself needing help, the everpresent light in the darkness behind you.

It feels right.

Pete also won several other well-earned awards: the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Fish First Award for being the first musher to reach the Kaltag checkpoint, the Northrim Bank Achieve More Award for reaching the White Mountain checkpoint in first position, and the Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Official Truck Award for winning the Iditarod race.

Pete’s lead dog Morrow also won the City of Nome Lolly Medley Memorial Golden Harness Award for being chosen as the most outstanding lead dog. Morrow received an embroidered golden harness. She is 7 years old and has led Pete’s team into Nome thrice in a row.

Well, so finally our daughter’s dog eagerly took me out for a ride across the pristine snow-covered tundra when we still had snow. It was a first for me and a countless many for him. What a complete extreme workout it was and we were both exhausted afterwards, but in a good way. The experience of the exhilaration was enough to bring light to understanding why mushers, that extraordinary group, love this sport so much.

I learned that the incredible strength of a sled dog is like poetry in motion, grace with power, beauty in form and will. Like a melody composed where the tundra and snow are like the staff of a musical composition and the places where the footprints of the dog touch the ground are  like the notes of your song. And to my puller, my lead dog Palmer – how unconditional and perfect is his resolve to want to please with no thought of anything in return but to be loved.

For us to return his undying devotion is so small compared to what he gives to us. What have we done to deserve dogs, these amazing creatures that make our lives so much more enriched?

What I did that day is in no way close to running the Iditarod, but for one small phenomenal moment, me and my dog were there in thought – racing with the great ones. Can you imagine that?

To Pete and his incredible team of canines, his family, and to all of Team Kaiser, we join the countless fans in celebration of a momentous, history in the making, highlight of 2019, congratulations!