The 2021 mushing season took another step forward with the K300 Holiday Classic on Sunday, Jan. 10. The race was originally delayed by the pandemic and then postponed because of weather, but eventually 20 mushers took the field on a beautiful windy day on the Kuskokwim River.
Greg Larson of Napaskiak, last year's Akiak Dash champion, took home the top prize of $2,700, completing the 50-mile course in 4 hours and 17 minutes. Mushers in the Holiday Classic ran a little slower than they did in last weekend’s season opener, likely due to the strong winds they faced in the first half of the race. Larson held off second place finisher Jason Pavila, who finished just four minutes behind him. Pavila is off to a blazing start this season after winning the season opener last weekend. In third place was Fr. Alexander Larson, who finished on Pavila’s heels just two minutes after him.
The top 15 mushers took home part of the $20,000 purse. Mushers and spectators were required to follow COVID-19 safety precautions that the K300 Race Committee hopes will carry them through a full mushing season. The Bogus Creek 150 is just around the corner, scheduled for January 23.