Scott wins Holiday Classic dog race

Matt Scott, the Holiday Classic Champion, mushes his team to the finish line at the Charles Family Lake in Bethel last Saturday. His time was 3 hrs. 30 minutes. photo by Greg Lincoln

by K.J. Lincoln

The Holiday Classic dog race that took place in Bethel this past weekend has a new champion. Matt Scott of Bethel won the race with a time of 3 hrs. 30 minutes. In all, 18 mushers participated in the race.
The trail started at the Charles Family Lake with a mass start and then up the Atmautluak Trail to the tundra villages of Atmautluak and Nunapitchuk and then back to Bethel which is approximately 45 miles.
It was a beautiful trail, said Scott.
“This was just kind of a perfect day, it’s really warm but the dogs did great. We have been training in all kinds of conditions in this distance. So this is really kind of our race,” he said at the finish line. “I knew earlier in the week that we were going to do pretty well based on our training runs. It was just a really nice trail too, beautiful. Way more snow than I thought there was going to be. And a lot of grip, which is nice. A big contrast from what we had this season.”
This is Scott’s second year mushing with his own kennel.
Folks in the tundra villages were excited to see the race come their way.
“Glad you guys raced this way,” said Edward Nicholai of Atmautluak. He said he came to Bethel to watch the finish.
It was very close. All 18 mushers finished within 50 minutes of each other. The purse was $20,000 paid out to the first 15 positions
Second place finisher Mike Williams Jr. of Akiak also thought the trail was great.
“Thank you K300,” he wrote in an online post. “That was a fun trail. It was awesome to go that way.”
Williams finished 2 minutes after Scott. In third was Maurice Andrews of Bethel. His time was 3:33. Andrews won the Season Opener, the Bogus Creek 150, and his team also won the Akiak Dash with driver George Manutoli of Akiachak.
The next race for the Kuskokwim 300 Race Committee is the February 50 which is scheduled for February 24th at 11:00 am.
2018 Holiday Classic Dog Race Results
Place, Musher, Time, Prize
1st: Matt Scott, 3:30, $2,700
2nd: Mike Williams Jr., 3:32, $2,450
3rd: Maurice Andrews, 3:33, $2,250
4th: Cori Simon, 3:39, $2,050
5th: Will Voinot-Baron, 3:43, $1,850
6th Cameron Jackson, 3:45:12, $1,700
7th: Jason Pavila, 3:45:21, $1,450
8th: Jim George, 3:45:42, $1,250
9th: Joe Demantle, 3:47, $1,050
10th: Greg Larson, 3:49, $900
11th: Jason Larson, 3:54:17, $750
12th: Nicholas Ayapan, 3:54:21, $600
13th: Solomon Olick: 3:58, $450
14th: Tory Fitzpatrick, 3:59, $300
15th: Gilbert Phillip, 4:11, $250
16th: Nate DeHaan, 4:15
17th: Victoria Hardwick, 4:17
18th: Jonathan Simon, 4:19