The Bogus Creek 150 Sled Dog Race starts Saturday, Jan. 30 in Bethel. Mushers will take off at noon in a mass start on the Kuskokwim River. Tune into KYUK 640 AM for live race coverage.
The race route forms a 75-mile loop that mushers will complete twice. It starts and ends on the Kuskokwim River, near the mouth of Bethel's small boat harbor. Organizers designed the route to avoid villages during the pandemic.
“They’ll go up Straight Slough upriver, then up the Gweek. They’ll take the Akiachak Portage Trail, go past Akiachak, and then continue on the river up to Akiak. Then come back overland towards the Gweek again, where they’ll catch the Yukon Trail, and then Rocky’s Trail. And come back to Bethel on Rocky’s Trail,” Race Manager Paul Basile said, outlining the expected course.
Teams will take Rocky’s Trail to the race’s only checkpoint at Bethel’s Hanger Lake. There, each team will be required to rest for four hours before completing the second part of the race along the same route.
Seventeen mushers have signed up to compete. Basile said that Bogus Creek 150 races in recent years haven’t drawn more than 10 mushers, but two factors are likely driving up the number of teams on the roster. First is the $60,000 purse that’s paid out to the top 15 finishers, and second is that the race stands alone this weekend. Usually it occurs alongside two other races during the K300 weekend, and mushers are forced to choose which to compete in.
“Splitting them up allows mushers who feel like they can do 150 miles, it allows them to not make that choice. The result is, of course, a much bigger field," Basile said.
The Bogus Creek 150 roster is stacked with winners from previous Bogus races. Five previous champions will be competing:
- Iditarod champion and five-time K300 winner Pete Kaiser of Bethel, who won the Bogus in 2008.
- Matt Scott of Bethel, who won the race in 2020 and returns as the reigning champion.
- Jason Pavila of Kwethluk, who won the race in 2019 at age 15 in his rookie run.
- Jackie Larson of Napaskiak, who won the Bogus twice: first in 2007 and again in 2015.
- Fr. Alexander Larson of Napaskiak, who won the Bogus in 2004.
Other mushers who have registered to race are:
- Raymond Alexie of Kwethluk
- Terrell Andrews of Bethel
- Rickie Diehl of Aniak
- Carl Ekamrak of Akiachak
- Twyla Elhardt of Bethel
- Jim George of Kwethluk and Akiak
- Ron Kaiser of Bethel
- Jason Larson of Napaskiak
- Christopher Nicolai of Kwethluk
- Solomon Olick of Kwethluk
- John Snyder of Akiachak
- Isaac Underwood of Aniak
Race organizers ask fans who attend the start and finish to wear masks and keep 6 feet from others. A winner is expected around 5 a.m. on Sunday, Jan 31.
Tune into KYUK 640 AM this weekend for live coverage of the Bogus Creek 150 Sled Dog Race. Start line coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, with the race beginning in a mass start at noon. Then stay tuned for race updates, six minutes past the top of the hour through midnight, all day Saturday, picking up again Sunday, Jan. 31 at 5 a.m.