Larson wins Kwethluk Dog Mushers Sprint Race

Musher Jason Pavila of Kwethluk is thinking about the upcoming race while he pets one of his team dogs. The Kwethluk Dog Mushers 35-mile sprint race was last Saturday. One dog jumps in excitement and can't wait to start pulling. photo by Greg Lincoln

by Greg Lincoln

The Kwethluk Dog Mushers hosted a 35-mile sprint race on Saturday, March 6th, 2021. Fourteen dog teams signed up for the event, which started on the river in front of Kwethluk. The race began with a mass start at 12 noon. The dogs were raring to go!

Coming in first was Napaskiak musher Greg Larson mushing his team from Larson’s Kennel. His finishing time was 3 hours and 1 minute. In second position was Jackie Larson, also of Napaskiak, his LJ Kennel team finished six minutes after Greg with a time of 3 hours 7 minutes.

In a close third finish was Kwethluk musher Nicholas Ayapan, he finished at 3 hours 9 minutes. Rounding out the top five was 17-year old Raymond Alexie, also of Kwethluk, and Fr. Alexander Larson of Napaskiak.

The trail was soft with lots of snow that had fallen the days before. Fifteen snowmachiners helped break the trail the previous day for the race the day and packing it down for the teams.

A little over two hours into the race, Greg Larson was in the lead at the upper end of Henkelman Kwethluk River with Jackie Larson in second.

The Red Lantern Award went to Solomon Olick of Kwethluk/Bethel. He finished with a time of 4 hours, 8 minutes. All racers who started the race finished.

Race organizer Harry Alexie and his wife Sharon provided sandwiches and very tasty Kuskokwim salmon dry fish and sodas for anyone who was hungry from the back of their truck.

The Kwethluk Dog Mushers club began way back in the 1980s with Max Olick and others fundraising with pop sales to help fund their races and later with fiddle dances. They are still here today supporting local mushers and the sport of dog racing.

Kwethluk Sprint Dog Race

March 6, 2021

1 Greg Larson, 3:01

2 Jackie Larson, 3:07

3 Nicholas Ayapan, 3:09

4 Raymond Alexie, 3:18

5 Fr Alexander Larson, 3:20

6 Jim George, 3:24

7 Herman Phillip, 3:28

8 Schouviller Wasillie, Sr. 3:31:18

9 Robert Charles Jr., 3:31:22

10 Jason Pavila, 3:44

11 Carl Ekamrak, 4:02

12 Mike Williams Jr. 4:04

13 Sargent Guy 4:05

14 Solomon Olick 4:08