Public Media for Alaska's Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

14 mushers to vie for victory in 2024 Akiak Dash

Well after the Kuskokwim 300 has gotten underway, mushing fans will get another treat in the form of the roughly 65-mile Akiak Dash, with a mass start scheduled for noon on Saturday, Jan. 27.

Now in its 33rd year, the race takes mushers from Bethel to Akiak and back. And with no checkpoints, required rest time, or dog drops, the Akiak Dash tends to live up to its name.

More than half of the 14 mushers registered for the 2024 Akiak Dash hail from Akiachak. Just two are running the race for the first time. Some are veterans of the race, like Mike Williams Jr. of Akiak, who dropped out of this year’s Kuskokwim 300 to enter what will be his seventh Akiak Dash. He took third in the 2022 race and placed second in 2023, losing to Kwethluk phenom Raymond Alexie.

The field for the 2024 Akiak Dash includes only one prior champion, Byron Pasitnak Sr. (2009). The youngest musher in the field, 15-year-old Charlie Chingliak of Akiachak, is returning after placing third in the 2023 Akiak Dash and taking home Rookie of the Year.

This year, the race is starting two hours earlier than in prior years, a move to encourage a daylight finish. Even with the daylight, racers can expect frigid and fast conditions on the trail, with forecasts calling for a high of 15 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

Akiak Dash mushers will compete for a cut of a $40,000 purse, with the winner taking home a minimum of $5,500.

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

Evan Erickson is a reporter at KYUK who has previously worked as a copy editor, audio engineer and freelance journalist.
Related Content