KYUK AM

17 Mushers To Race In 2021 Akiak Dash

Feb 13, 2021

Mushers race up the Kuskokwim during the mass start of the 2019 Akiak Dash in Bethel, Alaska on January 19, 2019.
Credit Katie Basile / KYUK

Seventeen mushers will race in the 2021 Akiak Dash Sled Dog Race on Saturday, Feb. 13. Defending champion Greg Larson of Napaskiak returns to seek his fourth Akiak Dash title. He joins 2019 champion Terrell Andrews and 2000 winner Jim George to headline a competitive field of Kuskokwim mushers for the 65-mile race from Bethel to Akiak and back.

 Four Bogus Creek 150 champions are in the mix, including Jackie Larson, Mike Williams Jr., Matt Scott, and Jen Peeks. The 2021 field includes five first-time Akiak Dash competitors, including Carl Ekamrak, Matt Scott, Nicolai Napoka, Gabriel Andrew, and Robert Charles Jr. Only Andrew and Charles Jr. are considered Akiak Dash rookies because the others have completed longer races previously in their careers.  COVID-19 precautions are reshaping this year’s race. While the Akiak Dash trail heads upriver to the halfway point at Akiak before turning back to finish in Bethel, there will be no required rest during this year’s race; traditionally mushers take a one-hour break at the halfway mark. Mushers will not be able to drop any dogs throughout the race, and there is no official checkpoint at Akiak, although race officials will be posted there. 

The race begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13 with a mass start in Bethel. The 17 mushers will compete for a $30,000 race purse and the title of the fastest sprint team on the Kuskokwim. 

2021 Akiak Dash Entrants       
  Musher, Hometown

  • Jim George, Kwethluk 
  • Terrell Andrews, Bethel 
  • Carl Ekamrak, Akiachak 
  • Gilbert Phillip, Akiak
  • Herman Phillip, Kwethluk
  • Raymond Alexie, Kwethluk 
  • Solomon Olick, Kwethluk
  • Matt Scott, Bethel
  • Nicolai Napoka, Tuluksak 
  • Jackie Larson, Napaskiak
  • Gregory Larson, Napaskiak
  • Mike Williams Jr., Akiak
  • Gabriel Andrew, Kwethluk
  • Robert Charles Jr., Akiachak
  • Nicholas Ayapan, Kwethluk
  • Edward Nicholai, Atmautluak 
  • Jen Peeks, Bethel