2014 Northern Lights 300

January 23, 2014

The Northern Lights 300 Race Committee regretfully must inform you of the cancellation of the 2014 race. After attempts to wait out the weather for more favorable conditions, current trail and checkpoint reports, and extended weather forecasts, we feel that it is not in the best interest of the dogs, volunteers, and mushers to conduct a race.
We are in the process of seeing what the race committee can do to accommodate all that signed up and made commitments to our 2014 race. Please monitor your email and social media for updates.
Thank you for your patience and understanding and we truly appreciate your dedication to, and support of our race.


Attention all mushers currently signed up for the Northern Lights 300. Race plans are progressing and the trails are holding up and the river is good. We are moving more straw up the river tomorrow.

We are continuing every effort to put on a quality race right up until race morning at which time we will make a final decision. The race committee has agreed to extend the early withdrawal date to Monday evening. If you are concerned about the forecast and wish to withdraw from the race, contact us via email or phone by 6:00pm on Monday, January 20th and we will refund $200 of your entry fee.

If the race must be cancelled, all mushers signed up for the race on race day will receive $350 of their entry fee back. The race will keep $50 per entry to cover already incurred race expenses.

Reminder: Flying food drops out is weather dependent so the sooner your food drops are delivered to Willow Airport on Wednesday, the better the chance of food getting out to checkpoints.

The Aurora Dog Mushers Association is no longer affiliated with the Northern Lights 300 race. If you only joined the Aurora club as a requirement of the NL300 race, you will receive a refund for that membership. If you are a member of the Aurora club from other activities, such as the Aurora 50/50, Alaska Excursions, etc, no refunds will be due.

You will be melting snow for water at Yentna so send plenty of Heet.

Please plan on arriving to vet checks no later than noon on Wednesday.
Keep on preparing and snow/cold dancing and we’ll do the same!

Please email us at NL300race@gmail.com or call Sue at 907 354-8631 if you with to withdraw.



The Northern Lights 300 sled dog race starts Friday, January 24, 2014 at Happy Trails Kennels (HTK) in Big Lake, Alaska.  The proposed trail is HTK to Yentna via Willow Swamp (~100 miles), Yentna to Finger Lake (~75 miles), Finger Lake – Yentna (~75 miles), Yentna to HTK (~45 miles). Six hour mandatory layovers at Yentna outbound and inbound and Finger Lake. Race rules and entry forms can be downloaded  here.

Some changes to this year’s race:

   • Sign up order will be start order.

   • Entry fee must be paid by check or money order and applications must be mailed.

   • Mandatory drivers’ meeting is Friday, race day, at 8:00am and race starts at noon.

   • Mushers must supply their own Heet.

   • All mushers will be equipped with a SPOT Tracker.

   • There is no finishers’ banquet.

   • Purse will be paid out evenly between all official finishers.

Please read the race rules carefully prior to signing up.

Information for Mushers and  Musher Support

2014 Race plans are rolling along.  Here’s some information that can help you with planning. Please read this carefully.

 COMPLEMENTARY VETERINARY EXAM will be on Wednesday, January 22rd, at Happy Trails Kennels.  Please arrive at HTK at assigned time by last name: A-I, 9:00am, J-Q, 10:30am; R-Z, 12:00pm.  Mushers must provide proof of current vaccinations for distemper, parvo and rabies at time of vet check.  Alternately mushers may present a certificate of pre-race exam conducted no earlier than one week prior to race start.

Dropped dog contact forms are due at vet check. Dog tags will be given only after dropped dog contact forms are turned in.

 FOOD DROPS must be delivered to the Willow Airport between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 to be eligible for delivery to the checkpoints. The earlier in the day you can get them there, the better chance we can get them flown out in case weather socks in.  Signs will be posted on Parks Hwy. All food must be clearly marked with the musher’s name and the checkpoint to which it is to be delivered. There is no limit on the number of drop bags, however, no bag can weigh more than 50 poundsMushers must supply their own Heet for each checkpoint.  You may send your Heet in additional drop bags.

Martin has offered to haul one return bag per musher back to HTK from Yentna Station.

 DROPPED DOGS: A $30.00 fee for each dog dropped will be collected when dog is picked up at HTK. Mushers must make arrangements for pick-up and care of dogs returned to Happy Trails. Mushers wishing to transport their own dropped dogs may do so. PLEASE LEAVE $ WITH YOUR HANDLERS FOR DROPPED DOGS.

MANDATORY DRIVERS’ MEETING will be held Friday, January 24, 2013 at 8:00 AM at Happy Trails Kennels (HTK). Mushers not present for roll call will launch three minutes after the last scheduled team. However, their official time will begin at their originally scheduled starting time.  Please park your truck BEFORE the drivers’ meeting.

RACE START:  Race starts at HTK at noon on Friday, January 24. There will be a plowed chute for each team. Race will launch from your truck. Each chute is long enough to park one support vehicle and truck or trailer. Pull support vehicle in first, then park truck/trailer so your truck is flush with main chute.

Complementary breakfast will be available at Happy Trails Kennels (HTK) beginning at 7:30.

Food at checkpoints:

Yentna – “We will have spaghetti, of course, probably stew, burgers for day time arrivals, and grilled cheese & soup.  Prices range from $12.50 to $15.00.  Sodas, candy, chips are $1.50.” Jean and Dan

Finger Lake:  Best burritos and fixins known to mankind.

Hospitality Stop at Skwentna for those planning on camping between Yentna and Finger Lake: Bonnie and Steve Childs own a cabin on the river directly across from the Post Office.  They have offered to open their cabin, provide stew, bread and hot drinks. Will pack down parking on the river and make a hole in the ice for water.

Please plan on bringing some cash to tip these hard working, gracious people.

2014 NL300 trail Mileage and description

If you are not used to “real mileage”, you might be getting a bit of a surprise on this trip.  If the trail is slow, this 300 will take a long time.  Remember, most of this trip is an out and back run. So, after the initial fifty mile loop,  look back at every major intersection to get an idea how it will look on the way back!


HTK start to Yentna Station 107 miles

 (Via cliff trail, Cow Lake, Red shirt Rolly lakes, Willow big Swamp, back towards Big Lake then right on the Smith trail to Iditarod on to Flat horn and up the river)

 Yentna Station to Skwentna 33 miles

Skwentna to Finger Lake 40 miles

Finger Lake to Skwentna 40 miles

Skwentna to Yentna Station 33 miles

Yentna Station to HTK finish line 47 miles

Via the Big Su to Flat Horn Lake, Iditarod trail, Smith Trail to Big Lake


Outbound- Start to Skwentna…

Depart the kennel from the truck, out on the airstrip and follow the groomed, well-marked trail to a main trail, 30 foot wide.  The first three miles are common trail near the start finish; it will also be “No mans land” for the return.

A “gee” and one mile later a “haw” are the only commands needed to get you to Little Cow Lake (calf lake). From here, a gentle right hand turn on little cow gets you to Cow Lake.  On Cow Lake the trail again, gently veers to the right into a portage to Red Shirt Lake,(3 miles long) Exit on the north end, follow the only trail to South Rolly Lake.

Now you will get on the Nancy Lake Park road for only about ¼ mile and take a “haw” to the Willow Trail System.

North Rolly and Rolly pond are the next little lakes. The trail will Tee and you take a right onto the Willow Swamp Loop Trail ( marked and identified with yellow triangles.).  You have come 25 miles.  Follow the willow Swamp loop all the way around (counterclockwise)  and then head straight(south) to the Big Swamp, also well-marked and labeled, this trail will bring you to the old Iron dog trail.  Here the trail tees again, hang a “haw” back towards Big Lake. Quick note about the Big Lake trails:  if you see red triangular reflectors, you are going away from Big Lake, if you see green triangle reflectors, you are heading towards BL.

You will see some “trail 11” signs.  Once you get to the trail 11 / trail 6 intersection, veer left and follow trail six towards Big Lake. This main trail will get you back almost all the way to Big Lake. Eventually, immediately after a steep gully, you will have to leave this nice rolling trail and make a hard right onto the  ………

“Smith trail”. For logistical reasons, please don’t camp before you complete this loop, lots of awesome camp spots from now on. There will be a volunteer here. Give your name and number and follow this trail south. You have completed the fifty-mile loop; your return will take the continuation of the trail you now are turning off.  (On the home stretch you will take a gee and within six miles the race will be over)

The Smith Trail heads south. In a mile you will cross the little Su river .Two lakes and another little Su crossing later you will turn right onto the Iditarod trail. There is a big sign directing you to Flat Horn Lake, go gee and then look back, this is a mayor turn on the return!

Flat Horn, dismal swamp and on up the Big Su is a major route, well marked.

The annual bottleneck and point of confusion is the confluence of the Yentna into the Big Su.  Going out, the trail will veer to the left up the Yentna.  Follow the markers, but also look back and try to remember this intersection. (More on the return)

Yentna river to Yentna Station and on up to Skwentna is all straightforward river running.  Look at the directional travel, there often are various, but mostly parallel trails going up and down the rivers.  Should there be a turn, it will be well marked.

Skwentna-Finger Lake Loop…

Skwentna to Finger Lake is a mostly overland trail, well marked forty miles that can feel like 60!
Return from Finger the same way.

Inbound- Skwentna, Yentna station and on down the Yentna river…

At the confluence of the Big Su and Yentna, make sure you veer right, if it is dark, head for the glow of Anchorage.  If you see a green and white sign giving you a choice to go to Point McKenzie or Deshka Landing go to wards Point McKenzie!!!!!  Down the Big Su a few more miles then exit the river to the left to go back to the Dismal Swamp, Flat Horn Lake and the Iditarod trail.
Two miles after the famous Nome sign, turn left up the “Smith Trail”(been here on the way out).  You will cross the little Susitna River twice.  A mile a after the second little Su River crossing, hang a right towards Big Lake, 6 miles to go. (This is where you came in on from the left on the initial fifty, you don’t have to do that loop again!

The right hand turn will take you down “dead dog hill” and straight into the Big Lake trail system.  Stay on this main trail, in three miles you will see the “no mans land sign” and eventually hang a left towards the kennel.  If it is dark, the kennel is lit up!

2013 Northern Lights 300

24-time Iditarod finisher DeeDee Jonrowe at the starting line at Deshka Landing. By Donna Quante/Husky Productions

The 2013 Northern Lights 300, which finished on Monday, set a blazing pace from Big Lake to Finger Lake, while keeping fans at rapt attention with some very surprising developments along the trail. It was a race which generated some compelling ‘tales of the trail’ for Monday evening’s banquet, and as the mushers told their stories to an appreciative and joy-filled audience, there were still a few sighs of relief from those who’d been behind the scenes when they happened.

Ray Redington Jr., grandson of Joe Redington, leaves the NL300 start chute, photo by Julia Redington

On January 11, just a week or so before the race start, warm weather was causing concern and race organizers were working on back up plans for a trail if plan A (to Finger Lake via same trail as last year) fell apart. A week later, January 17, things were still up in the air and the NL300 Facebook page noted, “Our number one priority is a safe race trail and our number 2 priority is getting this qualifying race run. Keep checking this page for more information.”

Moon in the sunset over the Yentna River, about two miles below Yentna Station. Photo by Martin Buser.

Implementation of the backup plan was announced on January 21: “Due to trail conditions, we have made some changes to the race course.”

The start was moved from Martin Buser’s Happy Trails Kennel in Big Lake to Deshka Landing, just west of Willow on the Susitna River. From there the trail more or less followed the Big Su to the mouth of the Yentna River, then up the Yentna to Yentna Station for a four-hour layover, then upriver to Skwentna, over the hills and across Shell Lake to Finger Lake, where the teams would take a mandatory six-hour rest. Returning down the same route to Yentna, another six-hour rest, and then to the finish at Happy Trails Kennel, around 47 miles.

Mushers tend their dogs at the Finger Lake checkpoint. Photo by Mandy Dixson, Winterlake Lodge

There were concerns about this new trail being where the Iron Dog snowmachiners were practicing for their upcoming race, so the media was alerted with a press release. News media from the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman to Alaska Magazine picked up the release and word spread quickly and effectively throughout the local snowmobiling community. Mushers were cautioned to keep their headlamps on at all times through certain parts of the trail: “There are some very tight sections of trail on this section where head on passes are going to take some serious cooperation should they occur. For safety’s sake, put the race aside and work with each other to make the pass safely.”

Teams at Finger Lake Checkpoint, photo by Mandy Dixon, Winterlake Lodge

The race started on Friday morning at Deshka Landing, just west of Willow, and photographers Julia Redington and Donna Quante captured the excitement of team after team leaving the starting area smoothly. Donna Quante, of Husky Productions, shared her beautiful images of every team leaving for Finger Lake. With all 30 teams successfully launched, the race organizers settled in to wait for updates from the first checkpoint.

The first updates came in around 2 pm, mushers started arriving at Yentna Station for their mandatory four-hour layover. As the mushers headed upriver to Skwentna and Shell Lake, the temperature started dropping severely; before the race was over there would be reports of close to 45 below. There were many reports of northern lights blazing across the sky, which no doubt delighted the mushers and checkpoint volunteers, but the interference generated by the aurora “noise” made it difficult to receive updates, so the leaderboard sat empty until the front-running teams started arriving at Shell Lake around 11 pm. Checkpoint volunteer Christopher Michael met the outgoing mushers, took their bib numbers and called race central, and the time for team after team was posted to the race’s Facebook page. Race volunteer Emily ‘Alaska’ Krol posted on Facebook: “Full moon. Stars bright. Crystal clear sky. Beautiful aurora. ‘Tis a gorgeous night.”

On the Facebook page for the Northern Lights 300, fans were asked for a show of hands every so often, and it was fun to see a broad base of armchair mushers who were watching the teams, hailing from all over the globe and reflecting an international interest in the sport, along with mushers in the race from points as far away as Brazil and Australia. In addition to locations all over Alaska and in dozens of other states, mushing fans chimed in from Australia, Germany, Holland, Norway, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Canada, France, New Zealand, and even South Africa!

Martin Buser prepares the "No Man's Land" sign, photo by Annette Fee

The checkpoint at Finger Lake, always a favorite with mushers and volunteers alike, saw 30 teams rest for the mandatory six hour layover, and then the first team in became the first one out: Nicolas Petit, with a full team of 16 dogs, left Finger Lake at 7:25 am, headed back downriver to Yentna Station. Five minutes behind him, at 7:30, came Ray Redington, Jr., driving 13 dogs; behind Ray was 24-time Iditarod finisher DeeDee Jonrowe, with another 16 dog team, at 7:54. Jason Mackey left with a 15 dog team at 8:02, and Justin Savidis, also with 15 dogs, hit the trail at 8:05. The race was on!

A frosty Ray Redington Jr. takes first place in the 2013 Northern Lights 300, photo by Annette Fee

Seventy-five miles later, at Yentna Station, Ray had whittled Nicolas’s lead down to one minute, they arrived at 1:46 and 1:47 respectively. DeeDee arrived at 2:38; and Kelly Maixner, with a 16-dog team, had moved into fourth place, arriving at 3:00. The last leg of the race, approximately 47 miles to Martin Buser’s Happy Trails Kennel, was all that remained after another mandatory six-hour layover.

A dropped dog relaxes at Happy Trails Kennel, awaiting pickup, photo by Helen Hegener/Northern Light Media

Nicolas Petit pulled his snowhook and headed for Happy Trails sharply at 7:46 pm with 12 dogs, Ray Redington did the same one minute later at 7:47, leaving with a team of 11 dogs. Dee Dee Jonrowe left at 8:38 pm, still with all 16 dogs in harness. A text message came into race central that two teams were spotted at Susitna Station, 30 miles out, at 10:34 and 11:00. Theories about what that meant were tossed around, with the most popular being voiced on the Facebook page by veteran musher Aaron Burmeister  of Nenana: “I know that Ray wouldn’t let Nicolas get that far ahead so I am betting Ray went by right behind Nicolas with his head lamp off and that was DeeDee catching up from behind 25 minutes later…”

Race Manager Sue Allen and Trail Boss Lou Schrader, photo by Helen Hegener/Northern Light Media

Volunteers waiting at Happy Trails Kennel stood in the sub-zero temperatures and watched into the darkness for a headlamp, listened for any telltale sound of a musher running without one. At 12:35 am the word came and a post went up on Facebook: “DOGTEAM!” A moment later another announced “Two teams coming in…” Finally, at exactly 37 minutes after midnight, Ray Redington Jr. drove his team across the finish line to claim first place! Nicolas Petit arrived four minutes later, at 12:41 am; and DeeDee Jonrowe drove her 16-dog team across the finish at 1:45 am. The 2013 Northern Lights 300 had been won by Redington Kennels!

Angie Taggart, photo by Annette Fee

Mushers continued to arrive throughout the day Sunday, happy and smiling mushers congratulating the volunteers on a terrific race with great trails. There were many comments about the Northern Lights 300 once again being bitterly cold, but most agreed that in this sport that comes with the territory. More than one musher commented that the NL300 is good training for the always-sub-zero Yukon Quest!

Frosty dogs. Photo by Annette Fee.

As the morning progressed, with mushers arriving every so often, it began to dawn on the race manager, Sue Allen, that one musher was missing. She began asking mushers who’d arrived if they’d seen her, she called checkpoints, talked to volunteers and gathered as much information as possible. A report that the veteran musher, Miriam Osredkar, had not been feeling well at Yentna caused concern; when a musher isn’t feeling well there are many things which can quickly go wrong, exacerbated by temperatures which were still hovering around 20 below. Finally, at 12:45 am, after studying area maps and considering all the possibilities, the race manager gave the word to enlist help in finding her. Pilots were contacted for air support, Trail Boss Lou Shrader headed back out onto the trails to search, Martin Buser harnessed a dogteam and started down the trail…

A team comes into the finish, photo by Annette Fee

A news release was sent out to media: “PLEASE READ: The NL300 is searching for a missing musher and team. Miriam Osredkar is driving a 12 dog team, she left the Yentna checkpoint around 3 am Sunday morning and she is several hours overdue at the finish at Martin Buser’s Happy Trails Kennel in Big Lake. She is wearing a blue coat, and she is driving a tail dragger sled with a grey and green sled bag. If you have any information about her please call….”

Martin Buser ready to join the search party. Photo by Annette Fee.

Within minutes the news release had appeared in so many places that the race manager received a phone call from an Associated Press reporter asking for details. Ten minutes later Miriam mushed her team into Happy Trails, smiling and elated at finishing. She’d mushed her team all the way back to the start at Deshka Landing, and upon realizing her mistake, turned around and mushed right back downriver to Happy Trails! She was fine, her dogs looked great, and she said the trail had been just beautiful!

Marilyn Storey, photo by Annette Fee

Miriam’s wasn’t the only ‘tale of the trail’ to come out of the race. There was the loose dogteam which checker Christopher Michael chased down and saved at Shell Lake; there was the puzzling zigzag trail of one of the few teams which had a tracker on board as it wandered from one side of Shell Lake to the other and back again; there was the trail sweep who blew a piston on his snowmachine at the far end of the trail and ended up being towed 134 miles by his brother, the other trail sweep; and then there was the musher whose team quit at Finger Lake, so the musher, not wanting to necessitate checkers remaining at their checkpoints for him alone, called in and announced that he was scratching. The next day all the checkpoint volunteers were flown out, and he started the long trek home with his team.

A frosty dog at the finish, photo by Annette Fee

Race officials tracked his progress via residents who lived on the lakes and rivers along his trail, and updates were made to the Facebook page as he made his way downriver. Just before midnight on Sunday evening he mushed into Yentna Station, settled his team for the night, and “…got a hot meal and is resting in a nice warm cabin.” The next morning he harnessed his team and continued his journey to the finish.

Race Marshal Bud Smith, photo by Annette Fee

At the Awards Banquet that same evening, the race manager announced that the final musher had done everything the 29 teams in front of him had done, and he’d done it all right, it just took him longer. So the decision was made to reinstate his team and he was officially named the 30th place finisher of the 2013 Northern Lights 300. 30 teams started, 30 teams finished, and all 17 teams needing a qualifying run for either the Iditarod or the Yukon Quest received their certificates.

Trail Sweep Chris Hegener shows his shattered snowmachine parts to Race Official Kathie Smith, photo by Helen Hegener/Northern Light Media

There was one last ‘tale’ to tell at the banquet. On the way to the dinner, one of the trail sweeps, Chris Hegener, found a dogsled in the middle of the Parks Highway. Dodging traffic to load it into his truck, he asked about the owner at the banquet, but no one had lost a dogsled… Finally someone recognized the sled; it turned out to belong to a longtime Iditarod veteran who had been training in the area over the weekend. Even after the race was over, and even having lost his snowmachine on the race, the intrepid Northern Lights 300 trail sweep was still doing his job!

2013 Northern Lights 300 Finishing Teams


2013 Finishers Awards Banquet

Landing at Yentna Station. Photo by Louis Schrader, Northern Lights 300 Trail Boss

Fly on over and join us this evening for the Finisher’s Awards Banquet at 6:00 at the American Legion Post 35, 5050 Tweed Court, just a few miles north of Wasilla on the Parks Highway: $10.00 per person – everyone welcome! Come help us congratulate the mushers, volunteers, and everyone involved, and listen to some great ‘Tales of the Trail’ from another fabulous race!

DeeDee Jonrowe in Third

DeeDee Jonrowe, bib #20, came in to the finish in third place. Kelly Maixner, bib #24, came in fourth.

Second Team In

The second team across the finish line in the 2013 Northern Lights 300 is Team #13, Nicolas Petit! Congratulations!

First Across the Finish Line!

Ray Redington

The first team across the finish line in the 2013 Northern Lights 300 is Team #3, Ray Redington! Congratulations!

Two Teams Coming In!

Two dogteams are coming down the trail towards the finish…

Waiting for the Finish

At Happy Trails Kennel, Martin Buser gets the No Man's Land sign ready to place on the trail. Photo by Annette Fee.

Here’s what we know right now: Team #13, Nicolas Petit, left the Yentna checkpoint at 7:46 pm with 12 dogs in harness. Ray Redington, Jr. left one minute later at 7:47 pm with 11 dogs in harness. Dee Dee Jonrowe left at 8:38 pm with 16 dogs in harness. Two teams were spotted at Susitna Station, 30 miles out, at 10:34 and 11:00. We’re waiting and watching for headlights to appear!

Start Photos

Laura Allaway

The beautiful start photos by Donna Quante, Husky Productions are now listed under Photos in our website menu.

Teams into Yentna Inbound

Check our Leaderboard for updates on all the teams!

Teams Leaving Finger Lake

The front-running teams have left the Finger Lake checkpoint after their mandatory six-hour layover, and are headed back down the trail to Shell Lake and the Yentna River. Check out the Finger Lake leaderboard, updated as race reports come in from the checkpoint.

Teams Through Shell Lake

Shell Lake is not a checkpoint. Finger Lake is the halfway checkpoint.

Bib #13, Nicolas Petit at 23:10
Bib #3 Ray Redington at 23:11
Bib #20 DeeDee Jonrowe at 23:20
Bib #29 Justin Savidis at 23:23
Bib #15 Jason Mackey at 23:25
Bib #14 Stephanie Ehlenfeldt at 23:41
Bib #24 Kelly Maixner at 23:47
Bib #27 Lev Shvarts at 23:51
Bib #8 Monica Zappa at 00:24
Bib #4 Karin Hendrickson at 24:00
Bib #12 Charley Bejna at 00:29
Bib #1 Sarah Stokey at 00:30
Bib #19 Travis Beals at 00:42
Bib #9 Miriam Osredkar at 00:43
Bib #23 Christine Roalofs at 00:44
Bib #22 Seth Barnes at 00:54
Bib #28 Angie Taggart at 00:59
Bib #10 Cindy Abbott at 01:03
Bib #30 Laura Allaway at 01:22
Bib #21 Jimmy Lebling at 02:29
Bib #25 Luan Marques at 02:40
Bib #26 Christian Turner at 02:50
Bib #18 Vern Halter at 3:00
Bib #17 Marilyn Storey at 03:02
Bib #11 James Volek at 05:02
Bib #6 Elliot Anderson at 05:47
Bib #7 Frank Haberman at 06:22
Bib #2 Lisbet Norris at 06:49
Bib #16 Phillip Walters at 07:19

NL300 in the News!

The Northern Lights 300 has been generating news in the Alaskan media, starting with the local Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman’s front page article in their January 24 issue, titled Weather prompts route changes for sled dog race: “Mother Nature is making enough mush this season to bog down even the hardiest dog sled racers.”

Race Manager Sue Allen explained: “Once out of the core area of the Valley, the trails aren’t too bad, said Allen, herself an Iditarod veteran. Besides, dealing with less-than-optimal conditions is part of what attracts mushers to the sport.”

The statewide online newsmagazine Alaska Dispatch also ran an article about the race: “Snowmachiners asked to be cautious for this weekend’s Northern Lights 300,” by race volunteer and Alaska Dispatch columnist Helen Hegener, detailing the race route and explaining the importance of snowmachiners being vigilant on the trail to Finger Lake: “We are making every effort to make mushers and teams as visible as possible. Please be aware that you may encounter dog teams and be especially vigilant on the tight trails between Skwentna and Finger Lake.”

Alaska Magazine posted a notice about the race on their Facebook page which read in part: “Here’s an important heads-up for motor-mushers who enjoy taking their sleds out in the Yentna River area or who might like watching dogs run! There will be a sled-dog race on the river, through Yentna, Skwentna, Shell Lake and Finger Lake, from Jan. 25-27. Please be aware!”

Who’s watching the NL300?

Find us on Facebook!

On the Facebook page for the Northern Lights 300 we ask for a show of hands every so often, to see where our fans are in the world, and it’s always fun to see the scrolling placenames from around Alaska and all over the globe! With teams just getting into the halfway point at Finger Lake this morning, where they’ll take a mandatory six hour layover, we’ve already got a broad base of fans watching the teams, hailing from:

Sterling, AK
Fairbanks, AK
Birch Run Michigan
Bismarck, ND
Whitehorse, Yukon
Hagen, Germany
Two Rivers,AK
Washington State
Ely, NV
Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
Sonoma County,California
Montana Creek, AK
Willow, AK
Delta Junction, AK
Meridian, ID
Tampa Bay, FL
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Fairbanks, Alaska
The Hague, Holland
Buchanan, Virginia
Bismarck, ND
Northern California
Ødegaard, Norway
Bloomindale, NY
Wasilla, Alaska
The Gulf Coast of Mississippi
NW Arkansas
Melbourne, Australia
Lake Louise, AK
Wasilla AK
Sebago, ME
Ft Worth, Texas
Raytown, MO
Beaver Dam, WI
Meadow Lakes, Alaska
Nellis AFB, NV
Lewiston, Idaho
Virginia Beach, VA
University Park, Maryland
Cantabria, Spain
New Zealand
Down east Maine
Key West, Florida
Falcon Lake,Manitoba
Albany, NY
New Orleans, Louisiana
Beaver Dam, WI
Birch Run, MI
Iowa, USA
Willow, Alaska
Puerto Rico
Hopkins (Minneapolis area) Minnesota
St Paul Minnesota
Ox, Australia
Northome, Minnesota
Bridgewater, NJ
Lawton, OK
Milwaukee, WI
Western Cape, South Africa
Sussex, Wi
Chugiak, Alaska
Des Moines, Iowa
Big Lake, Alaska
Houston, Alaska.
Kasilof, Ak
Mill, Arkansas
Torrington, WY
Albuquerque, NM
Coopersburg, PA
Alta, CA
Gallant, Alabama
Alpine, Wyoming
Alberta CANADA
Comeback Kennels, Fox, Ak
Addison, IL
Northwest Arkansas
Skagway, Alaska
Bellville, Ohio
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Seward, Ak
Palmer, Alaska
Sterling, AK
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Portage, Michigan
Bordeaux, France
Marini Delaware
Southland, New Zealand
Ox, Australia
Tauranga New Zealand
Milwaukee, WI
Mooresville, NC
Cape Town, South Africa
Prussman, Pennsylvanie
Catskills of NY
Colorado Spring, Colorado
Cyrus, Minnesota

Northern Lights for the NL300!

The Northern Lights are dancing tonight for the Northern Lights 300! Race volunteer Emily ‘Alaska’ Krol posted on Facebook: “Full moon. Stars bright. Crystal clear sky. Beautiful aurora. ‘Tis a gorgeous night.”

Yes it certainly is! A beautiful night for a sled dog race!

Yentna Checkpoint Leaderboard

The Yentna Station checkpoint arrival and departure times, and dogs in and dogs out, has now been updated on the leaderboard.


Final Start Photos from Donna Quante

The last ten photos from this morning’s start, by Donna Quante of Husky Productions:

Jimmy Lebling

Seth Barnes

Christine Roalofs

Kelly Maixner

Luan Ramos Marques

Christian Turner

Lev Shvarts

Angie Taggart

Justin Savidis

Laura Allaway


More Photos from Donna Quante

More great start photos from Donna Quante at Husky Productions:

James Volek

Charley Bejna

Nicolas Petit

Stephanie Ehlenfeldt

Jason Mackey

Philip Walters

Marilyn Storey

Vern Halter

Travis Beals

DeeDee Jonrowe



Still Awaiting Updates from Yentna

Because our crew is out there and working hard, this is what we know: All teams are into Yentna Station. Many teams have left Yentna Station, and the last team could leave Yentna Station at 8:10 pm. The checkers are busy on the river with mushers, and we will update as soon as we hear from them.