Registration for the 2021 Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race opened on Oct. 5. “An impressive list of mushers” is how Race Manager Paul Basile described the initial lineup.
Sixteen teams signed up on the first day. “That’s a significant first day for us,” Basile said. "Last year, only about five mushers signed up in the first week."
The K300 has built a reputation as one of the toughest races in Alaska, and one of the best training grounds for the Iditarod. The mid-distance race also pays the highest purse per mile of any race in the state, likely a powerful draw during the current economic crisis.
The roster includes K300 fan favorites, including reigning five-time champion from Bethel, Pete Kaiser; Aniak musher Richie Diehl; 2019 K300 champion Matthew Failor; and nine-time champion Jeff King. Also joining the race from Bethel is Iditarod finisher and former K300 veterinarian Jessica Klejka. Other mushers that signed up are Dennis Kananowicz, Dave Turner, Brent Sass, Joar Leifseth Ulsom, Aaron Peck, Wade Marrs, Peter Reuter, Jessie Holmes, Matt Hall, Michelle Phillips, and Riley Dyche.
K300 is limiting race registration to 30 mushers.
The race committee plans to hold the K300 beginning January 15, 2021 with a suite of precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. Whether the race occurs could change, depending on the status of the virus in the region.