The Don Bowers Memorial sled dog race took place last weekend with eleven mushers from Willow, Talkeetna, Wasilla, Anchorage and even Washington state leaving the start line on Friday. Willow musher Justin Savidis won the race with 15 dogs in harness in a time of 20 hours and twenty-two minutes.
The race is usually 200 miles long, but was shortened to 120 miles due to overflow and dangerous open water conditions at the Susitna River and Rabideaux (Ra-bee-DOO) creek.
The trail took the teams about 60 miles from Willow Lake to Oil Well Road and Morgan’s cabin for a mandatory six-hour layover. The return followed the same trail back to Willow, ending at the Eaglequest Lodge.
Eight minutes after the winner, Varan Hoyt of Wasilla came in second. Bob and Marilyn Storey of New Zealand came in third and fourth, Diana Haecker of Talkeetna came in fifth, followed by Angie Taggart of Willow, Christine Roalofs of Anchorage and Jan Steves of Edmonds, Washington. Robert Forto and Paul McLarnon scratched at the halfway point.