Stories about sporting events.

Bethel musher Pete Kaiser arrives into the McGrath checkpoint on the Iditarod trail on March 5, 2019.
Ben Matheson

5:00 p.m. March 5, 2019

Nicolas Petit was the first Iditarod musher to McGrath on Wednesday, earning him some mitts and a hat. The musher, known for getting lost, may have taken a bit of a detour on his way into town. The Iditarod’s GPS tracker showed his Girdwood team mushing the long way into McGrath. But if they took a detour upriver when they should have hung left and headed more directly across the ground, so did Joar Leifseth Ulsom’s team, which was chasing Petit in a bid to cut the Girdwood musher’s lead. Petit made it to the Kuskokwim River checkpoint at 3:16 p.m. and rested his team.

Bev Hoffman / KYUK

On Monday, mushers in the Iditarod are headed across the Alaska Range. KYUK reports that during Saturday’s ceremonial start in Anchorage, a discerning eye could see the impact of Bethel’s K300 and the races it sponsors on the iconic race to Nome.

Mike Williams Jr. of Akiak completes the 2017 K300.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The Iditarod restart kicks off Sunday afternoon in Willow. Five Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta teams will be competing across 1,000 miles of Alaska wilderness, but a notable, local musher will be absent from the pack. However, his time will still be going to the dogs.

Katie Basile / KYUK

The Iditarod may be an iconic sled dog race, but it isn’t what it used to be. Following Wednesday’s press briefing, KYUK reports that a smaller field of mushers will face less ice on the Bering Sea as they head to Nome.

Courtesy of Jessica Klejka

Born and raised in Bethel, Jessica Klejka is getting ready for her first Iditarod this weekend. The sled dog race to Nome is a long way from her first run, which took place as a four-year-old, pulled by a single dog in the Sunday races that the Kuskokwim 300 Race Committee used to put on in Bethel.

Klejka has run the local Bogus Creek 150 and has volunteered as a veterinarian for the Kuskokwim 300. She has run the Junior Iditarod, winning it one year, and placed fourth in last year's Kobuk 440. 

Now living in Big Lake, Klejka took some time during her lunch break to talk to KYUK’s Krysti Shallenberger about her preparations and how she juggled her job, volunteering with the K300, and training for the Iditarod this year. The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. 

Warriors Win At Home

Jan 27, 2019
Matthew Murphy

This weekend, the Bethel Warriors won and kept on winning. Both the boys and girls basketball teams earned the championship title at the Ravn/YKHC Invitational Tournament in Bethel.

Both Warrior teams faced off against the Glenallen Panthers for the tournament championship. The boys had a tough, tight game, with only three points separating the schools at the final buzzer. Bethel finished with a score of 62 to Glenallen's 59.

Musher David Fitka of Marshall received the 2019 K300 Red Lantern for finishing 18th after 92 hours and 51 minutes on the trail. He received his $4,272 check in the live KYUK studio on January 23, 2019.
Katie Basile / KYUK

In the Kuskokwim 300, even the last musher to finish is in on the money. David Fitka of Marshall received the 2019 K300 Red Lantern Award for being the 18th and final musher to complete this year’s K300. He finished his race Tuesday afternoon, the day after the awards banquet where all the other mushers publicly received their winnings. The K300 Race Committee wanted Fitka to also receive public recognition, so they gathered in the live KYUK studio with Fitka on Wednesday afternoon, where K300 Race Manager Madelene Reichard did the honors.

Red Lantern finisher David Fitka leads his team through the K300 race chute, crossing the finish line at 3:21 p.m. on January 22, 2019 after 92 hours and 51 minutes on the trail.
John McDonald

The 40th Annual Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race officially concluded at 3:21 p.m. on Tuesday. The Red Lantern award went to David Fitka, who crossed the Bethel finish line after 92 hours and 51 minutes on the trail.

Gabby Salgado / KYUK

The Bethel community celebrated 40 years of Kuskokwim 300 mushing on Monday night. Race coordinators, mushers, and hundreds of the volunteers who make the race possible gathered in the Bethel Cultural Center for a night of feasting, speeches, and awards. After digging into a banquet of prime rib, cheesy potatoes, and lemon squares, the crowd settled in for the ceremony.

Katie Basile / KYUK

Watch as 18 mushers face off for the 40th running of the Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog race.