AND ROUTE CHANGES FOR BOTH THE K300 and BOGUS CREEK 150
The Kuskokwim 300 Race Committee decided this week to make further modifications to the 2021 race season in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The Bogus Creek 150, which traditionally takes place the same weekend as the Kuskokwim 300 is now scheduled to start on Saturday, January 23rd. The K300, which was previously postponed, is still slated to begin on Friday, February 12th. Both races will follow modified routes.
The Race Committee’s hope in changing the Bogus Creek 150 schedule is that it will draw wider participation from mushers in the Y-K Delta region and also that it will give race organizers experience managing a larger event with Covid-19 safety measures in place, in advance of the K300. Many details for the 2021 Bogus Creek 150 are still pending but thus far the Committee has determined that the race will follow an alternate route with a midway point in or near Bethel and that it will begin in the morning on Saturday, January 23rd with a mass start. More details and revised race rules will be announced very soon. As was previously announced, no teams from outside the Y-K Delta region will be permitted to race in the 2021 Bogus Creek 150.
The K300, which is still tentatively set to begin on February 12th, will adopt an alternate route for 2021 as well. Rather than following the traditional route upriver on the Kuskokwim from Bethel to Aniak, racers will make two trips to Bogus Creek and back with Bethel as the mid-way point. The K300 followed this route in 2018 when the traditional trail was wrought with dangerous conditions and open holes on the river. This year, utilizing the alternate route allows the race to completely by-pass village communities while minimizing the challenging logistics of setting up remote camps to serve as checkpoints and the number of volunteers needed to manage them. There will be one such remote checkpoint camp, in the vicinity of Tuluksak, and the other checkpoint will be located in Bethel.
The K300 Race Committee continues to proceed cautiously with 2021 events, the first of which was held last weekend. The 50 mile “Season Opener” was conducted smoothly with strict Covid-19 safety measures in place and the “Holiday Classic” is set for this Saturday, January 9th on the same trail. The Committee remains cautiously optimistic about the remainder of the season.
Photo by Jen Peeks