Pavila mushes to Season Opener win

Jason Pavila of Kwethluk, mushing with the Bad River Kennel, won the 50 mile Season Opener dog race this Saturday, January 2nd, 2021. His time was 3 hours 58 minutes.

Coming in seven minutes later in second place was Fr. Alexander Larson of Napaskiak. Pete Kaiser of Bethel crossed the finish line in third.

The top lady finisher was Victoria Hardwick of Bethel. She finished in 14th position. Twyla Elhardt and Abby Klager also raced.

Overall, there were 19 teams competing in the first sprint dog race of the new year and of the season. The race was sponsored by the Kuskowkwim 300 Race Committee.

All mushers and spectators were asked to maintain social distancing and to wear masks and to follow all safety protocols for COVID-19.

The trail began on the frozen Kuskokwim River in front of Bethel near the entrance to the Small Boat Harbor. The race began with a mass start. Mushers raced up Straight Slough, then continued on upriver to the Gweek until the turnaround. Teams mushed back to Bethel following the same route.

Carl Ekamrak of Akiachak won the Red Lantern. He finished with an elapsed time of 6:31. Monetary prizes were awarded to the top 15 mushers with first place taking home $2700 and 15th place receiving $250.

Race day was clear with temperatures near zero and the low single negative digits.

The next race is scheduled for January 9th, 2021 at 11am and will follow the same trail.

Season Opener Sled Dog Race Results

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Place    Musher                        Elapsed Time

1st        Jason Pavilla               3:58

2nd       Fr. Alexander Larson  4:05

3rd        Pete Kaiser                  4:09

4th        Raymond Alexie         4:10

5th        Ron Kaiser                  4:11

6th        Isaac Underwood        4:15

7th        Matt Scott                   4:17

8th        Greg Larson                4:19

9th        Herman Phillip            4:23

10th      Jim George                  4:25

11th      Jackie Larson              4:27

12th      Solomon Olick            4:32

13th      Richie Diehl                4:32

14th      Victoria Hardwick      4:37

15th      Terrell Andrews         4:51

16th      Twyla Elhardt             5:11

17th      Abby Klager                5:19

18th      Nicolai Napoka           5:22

19th      Carl Ekamrak              6:31