The Elia Salafie Memorial Sled Dog Race and K300 Camp Out Race are happening this weekend.
The three-day Salafie Memorial race starts this Friday and is put on by the Bethel Sprint Musher’s Club.
Organizer John Simon says the race is named in honor of the late Elia Salafie, a Bethel musher who ran a Bethel sprint kennel in the 60’s.
He says even though many mushers today may not know who Salafie was, it is still important to honor him and his contribution to local mushing; he was instrumental in organizing sprint races over forty years ago.
This year’s course starts across from the small boat harbor in Bethel and goes upriver to Joe Pete’s fish camp and then along the wood cutting trail toward the bluffs behind Napaskiak and then back to Bethel.
The first two days mushers sprint 25 miles, and on Sunday the course is extended to 30 miles.
John Simon called this year’s course “challenging.”
The purse has been raised this year to at total of $25,000—with the winner taking home $4,500.
14 teams or less are expected to race this year.
Also this weekend is the K300’s annual Camp Out Race.
The race starts at 11 am Saturday with a noncompetitive start up the Gweek 45 miles to a camping spot where teams, friends and fans are welcome to camp out for the night.
The real race starts 11 am on Sunday with the dash back home toward Bethel.
The total purse is $8,250 this year.
The K300 Junior Classic is also coming up on Wednesday March 27th.