Photos and Story by Susan Bucknell, KOTZ – Kotzebue
The 2011 Kobuk 440 wrapped up at 9:50 Sunday morning when Pete Kaiser of Bethel appeared out of the fog to cross the finish line on the ice in front of Kotzebue.
This marks the first big win for 23-year-old Kaiser, who has placed in the Kuskokwim 300 and the Iditarod.
Kaiser was followed in second-place by Ken Anderson. Cyndi Barrand (Buh RAND), running a team of John Baker’s 2011 Iditarod dogs, came in third. She was followed by John Schandelmeier, a last-minute stand-in for wife Zoya Denure who injured her knee the day of the 440 start. Chuck Schaeffer took fifth, followed by Hugh Neff, Ruth Iten, Brent Sass and Robert Nelson. Debbie Moderow rounded out the top ten.
Kobuk 440 red lantern winner Dempsey Woods, crossed the finish line at 6:59 this morning.
Mushers had extraordinarily good weather and good trails for a race that can be known for some tough conditions. Past years races have seen severe cold, snow storms that pinned mushers in place, or dogs swimming through overflow.
Photos: (Top) Waiting for Pete Kaiser in the fog Sunday morning at the 440 finish line. (Right) Kobuk 440 winner 23 year old Pete Kaiser of Bethel and his dad at the 440 finish line.
Download Audio (MP3)