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23 mushers slated to race in the 2024 Kuskokwim 300

This weekend marks the 45th running of the Kuskokwim 300 sled dog race, which is set to put 23 teams to the test in what’s expected to be a cold, fast race.

The stacked field of mushers includes four former K300 champions, including defending champ Pete Kaiser, as well as Matt Failor (2019), Richie Diehl (2021) and Ramey Smith (1995). Defending Iditarod champion Ryan Redington will also be racing in his first K300. And while Kwethluk musher Raymond Alexie is a newcomer to the 300-mile distance, he’s won every race he’s entered in the past two years.

Racers can expect a cold and clear weekend, with daytime highs between zero and fifteen below and nighttime lows 20- to 30-below. Winds are expected to be less intense than previous forecasts – between 10 and 20 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

Mushers are required to take six hours of rest throughout the race, split as they see fit between the outgoing Kalskag checkpoint, Aniak checkpoint, and coming back through Kalskag. All mushers also must take a four-hour rest in Tuluksak before the final 50-mile push back to Bethel.

They’re competing for a cut of a $185,000 purse, the largest purse in the world for this race distance. The winner will take home $28,500. Mushers will start from the Kuskokwim River in front of town, starting at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26.

Follow the race by listening in to KYUK 640AM. We'll have reporters and be live-streaming the start and finish, as well as reporters covering the race from Kalskag and Aniak. We'll also be posting updates regularly to our website, Facebook, and Instagram pages.

Plus, the K300 will be regularly posting updates on its website and Facebook page. And you can follow teams on the race’s online GPS tracker.

Sage Smiley is KYUK's news director.