Man holding race bib in the winter time. Dog sled behind him.

Nome Kennel Club (NKC) hosted a 26-mile race this past Saturday, the third of their short-distance races this season. Five teams participated on what was a sunny dry cold afternoon in Nome as temperatures averaged 15 below.

Trails were packed down and firm, optimal for mushing. NKC’s president Neil Strandberg described the day as perfect.

“Definitely a good race out there, the conditions on the trail were just perfect. The lead finisher said that he hasn’t seen it this good in a long time. And from my vantage point, it looked like there was some good competition out there.”

– Neil Strandberg

Those competing included Nils Hahn with 12 dogs, Diana Haecker with 12 dogs, Sarah Richards with 8, Reese Madden with 8, and Stephanie Johnson with 12.

The five teams began with a staggered start at the Nome snow dump, Johnson was first to leave, Madden second, followed by Hahn, then Haecker, and finally Richards. As the mushers rounded the final hill to the finish, they were met by NKC’s Frank Carruthers tracking their times.

“Nils Hahn, 1st place, 135:10s. In second place Sarah Richards, 142:56s. Third place, Diana Haecker, 146:12s. Fourth place, Reese Madden, 154:27s. And fifth place, Stephany Johnson, 164:48s.”

– Frank Carruthers

This is the second consecutive Nome Kennel Club race win for Hahn. Last race’s purse was $400, and now he goes home with the bulk of this race’s $800 purse.

This may have been the last local short-course race for NKC this season. However, the club does plan to host their Pilgrim Hot Springs race towards the end of this month. Details on the race are still being determined.

Image at top: Nils Hahn holding bib after NKC’s race on January 16th. Photo by Sophia DeSalvo, KNOM.