K300 race nominated for Alaska Sports Hall of Fame

The Kuskokwim 300 sled dog race was born in Myron Angstman’s living room in 1979, almost 40 years ago. If there’s one word that can describe the sled dog race, it’s scrappy.

“We don’t take no for answer when putting on the race,” Angstman said. “There’s many, many reasons where it would have been really easy to not have the race for weather reasons, logistics reasons.”

Angstman is the chairman of the K300 Race Committee, which offers its three signature races in January: The Kuskokwim 300 (or K300), the Bogus Creek 150, and the Akiak Dash. The K300 Committee announced that it raised its purse by $10,000 per race for the fifth time in seven years.

The K300 is the biggest race, running from Bethel to Aniak and back. Angstman says that he heard of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame about a decade ago, but he didn’t think the K300 had a chance at getting in at first.

“So we never did or said much about the hall of fame because we figured our chances were too limited being where we are [in Rural Alaska],” Angstman said. “But then as we watched over the years, there were other events that were nominated or selected that, you know, was certainly no more deserving than the Kuskokwim 300.”

Madelene Reichard is the race manager and one of the race’s two employees. She says that the effort to get the K300 into the hall of fame began three years ago. They were turned down last year, so they contacted their fan base.

“The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame board decides on nominees, and so last year when we were not selected, we started a write-in campaign for ourselves,” Reichard said. “And we had mushers from all over the state, including the Iditarod champions and K300 champions and just people who enjoy watching our race, write in emails. And the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame was so overwhelmed and impressed with the interest and support of the Kuskokwim 300 that they put us on the ballot.”

The K300 is on the ballot, but still needs to be voted into the hall of fame. Reichard says that they started a campaign for people to vote on Facebook, and people can visit the organization’s website to cast a vote as well. The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame website did not list a deadline, but Angstman says that a final decision on nominees should come before the winter is out.

The dates have been set for the three largest races: The K300 and Bogus Creek 150 will start on January 18, and the Akiak Dash will begin on January 19.

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