19 year old Raymond Alexie, of Kwethluk, coasted to victory in the first race of the Kuskokwim mushing season in impressive fashion, besting the second place finisher, Pete Kaiser, of Bethel, by 14 minutes.
21 mushers competed in the 32 mile race which ran over the tundra trail from Bethel to Atmautluak and back. Racers reported varied conditions with the trail being quite good close to Bethel but severely windblown as they got closer to Atmautluak. Some teams struggled to cross large lakes of glare ice as they were battered by a significant cross wind.
With his victory, Alexie gets off to great start in the new Delta Championship Series, posting 10 points for the season-long competition. He also took home a check for $2,700, the top prize for today's race which had a total purse of $20,000 split among the top 15 finishers.
Photos and full results below.
Next Race: The Holiday Classic is scheduled for Monday, December 26th at 11:00 AM. Registration will open this Monday and trail details will be posted later in the week.
Raymond Alexie approaching the finish line:
Season Opener Race Results: