Larson takes lead in final stretch of season finale 50-mile race

Greg Larson of Napaskiak (at right) is the winner of the Season Finale 50 mile Sled Dog race. At left is runner up Mike Williams Jr. of Akiak. The two finished within 8 seconds of each other. photo by Greg Lincoln

by Delta Discovery Staff

Greg Larson of Napaskiak drove his 8-dog team to victory this Saturday, winning first place by 8 seconds over Akiak musher Mike Williams Jr. Larson, driving his Larson Kennel Team, finished with an elapsed time of 5 hours 10 mins and 34 seconds.

Williams was in the front coming out of the Gweek and reports on the trail said he had a substantial lead. Larson steadily gained on Williams and passed him in Straight Slough. Both mushers were kicking hard and for a while their teams were running side by side. It was a clean smooth pass.

Race fans at the finish were cheering on the two mushers. It was an exciting finish. Larson’s mom and grandbaby were there to greet him at the finish line.

“I haven’t raced that hard in a long time,” said race champion Larson at the finish line. The two friends snacked their dogs and posed for photos after the race.

“It was the closest finish and a fitting end to the K300 season,” wrote the Kuskokwim 300 Race Committee and race organizers.

Coming in third was Jim George of Akiachak/Kwethluk racing his Tag Along Kennel team. His time was 5 hours 22 minutes. In fourth was Robert Charles Jr. of Akiachak racing his Snyder Kennel team, his elapsed time was 5 hours 28 mins.

Racers began at 11am with a mass start that ended up with everyone leaving in single file due to all the deep snow. Earlier 50 mile races had faster finishing times due to better trail conditions. Temps were in the high teens and no precipitation.

The race course went up through Straigth Slough, then left up the Kuskokwim River. The race followed the same route up the Gweek River as the first two races of the season. Racers travel up the Gweek to a turnaround point approximately 25 miles from the start. They returned to the finish on the same trail.

Twyla Elhardt of Bethel finished with a total time of 7 hours and 3 minutes for the Red Lantern Award. A total of eleven mushers completed the race.

Season Finale 50 Mile Sled Dog Race Results

March 20, 2021