Kuskokwim mushers finish Iditarod 2023

photo by John Wallace

Local Kuskokwim mushers Pete Kaiser of Bethel, Richie Diehl of Aniak, and Mike Williams Jr. of Akiak crossed the finish line for the greatest dog mushing race on earth – the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Ryan Redington of Knik, AK won the race with 6 dogs making the top three winners indigenous Alaskan natives.

Team Kaiser mushed across the finish line at 1:36pm on March 14th, one hour and twenty-three minutes in second place with 8 dogs. Diehl finished at 2:40pm in third position with 7 dogs.

Mike Williams Jr. of Akiak was the musher completing the trio of Kuskokwim mushers who raced in the 2023 Iditarod. He also finished his race crossing under the burled arches on March 16th at 7:57pm with seven dogs.

Pete Kaiser is the 2019 Iditarod Race Champion and a Golden Harness award winner. This was his thirteenth time competing in the Iditarod race. He has 8 top ten finishes.

This is Richie Diehl’s best finish in the Iditarod, it is his tenth time running the race. He placed 6th last year and has four top ten finishes. In 2018 he was awarded the Herbie Nayokpuk Award.

Mike Williams Jr. is an eight time finisher of the Iditarod. His best finish was eighth in 2012. He won the Sportsmanship Award in 2014.

The top female finisher was Mille Porsild of Denmark. This is her fourth time in the Iditarod and her best finish was 5th in 2021. She also won the Humanitarian Award in 2020. This year she placed 9th overall.

The Red Lantern Award went to Jason Mackey of Knik, AK. He carried the ashes of his late brother Lance Mackey during this race. He finished on March 17th with 5 dogs. This is his eight time running the Iditarod.

2023 Iditarod Sled Dog Race Results

Place/Musher # of Dogs Total Elapsed Time

1 Ryan Redington 6 8d 21h 12m 58s

2 Peter Kaiser 8 8d 22h 36m 40s

3 Richie Diehl 7 8d 23h 40m 20s

4 Matt Hall 7 9d 2h 21m 57s

5 Jessie Holmes 10 9d 4h 8m 53s

6 Kelly Maixner 10 9d 5h 0m 15s

7 Eddie Burke, Jr. (r) 7 9d 8h 37m 54s

8 Matthew Failor 6 9d 9h 20m 36s

9 Mille Porsild 7 9d 12h 42m 32s

10 Wade Marrs 9 9d 13h 7m 56s

11 Hunter Keefe (r) 8 9d 23h 39m 44s

12 Dan Kaduce 8 10d 0h 23m 4s

13 Christian Turner 8 10d 1h 16m 6s

14 Jessie Royer 10 10d 1h 35m 7s

15 Aaron Peck 8 10d 3h 15m 17s

16 KattiJo Deeter (r) 6 10d 6h 44m 0s

17 Nicolas Petit 9 10d 10h 9m 18s

18 Riley Dyche 8 10d 14h 11m 46s

19 Ramey Smyth 7 10d 15h 24m 34s

20 Deke Naaktgeboren 12 10d 19h 5m 2s

21 Kristy Berington 8 10d 23h 50m 50s

22 Anna Berington 9 10d 23h 51m 6s

23 Michael Williams, Jr. 7 11d 4h 57m 16s

24 Bailey Vitello (r) 11 11d 16h 49m 57s

25 Joanna Jagow 9 11d 17h 7m 23s

26 Gerhardt Thiart (r) 10 11d 21h 0m 26s

27 Bridgett Watkins (r) 11 11d 21h 8m 48s

28 Jed Stephensen (r) 10 12d 0h 44m 24s

29 Jason Mackey 5 12d 2h 3m 7s

Out of Race

Musher Checkpoint # of Dogs

Eric Kelly Unalakleet 10

Brent Sass Eagle Island 11

Gregg Vitello (r) Iditarod 13

Jennifer LaBar (r) Rainy Pass 13