Northern Lights 300 pack heads to Finger Lake

The Northern Lights 300 got underway at noon Friday, despite questionable snow conditions earlier this month. The sled dog race started in Big Lake at Martin Buser’s Happy Trail Kennels and will take mushers and their teams to Yentna, and Finger Lake than back to Big Lake.

Race organizer Sue Allen says crisp temperatures at the race’s start are creating ideal conditions.

“Really a beautiful day for racing, perfect for dogs. A little icy in our take off chute, but the trail is very nice, and actually gets better, and better and better as the race goes on. There’s not a lot of snow, but considering the little snow we’ve had, conditions are great.”

The  Northern Lights 300 is an Iditarod qualifier, although there is no purse for the winner.

Thirty – three sled dog drivers are in this year’s lineup, including Buser. Mushers must take a six hour layover during the race. A winner is expected back at Big Lake sometime Sunday.

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APTI Reporter-Producer Ellen Lockyer started her radio career in the late 1980s, after a stint at bush Alaska weekly newspapers, the Copper Valley Views and the Cordova Times. When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Valdez Public Radio station KCHU needed a reporter, and Ellen picked up the microphone. Since then, she has literally traveled the length of the state, from Attu to Eagle and from Barrow to Juneau, covering Alaska stories on the ground for the AK show, Alaska News Nightly, the Alaska Morning News and for Anchorage public radio station, KSKA elockyer (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8446 | About Ellen