Redington battles the elements to win Kobuk 440 in mushing season finale

Mushers powered through the weather during the 2021 Kobuk 440. (Photo Whitney McLaren...
Mushers powered through the weather during the 2021 Kobuk 440. (Photo Whitney McLaren Photography)(Whitney McLaren)
Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 5:22 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - In the final major mushing race of the season, Mother Nature threw all she could at the dozen teams who braved the Kobuk 440 that began Friday. The race from Kotzebue to Kobuk and back featured whiteout conditions, a change of course, a restart and multiple emergency rescue alerts from experienced mushers.

Ryan Redington, of Knik, was named the champion of the 2021 Kobuk 440 as the lone musher to complete the entire course. The race was paused Sunday due to poor weather conditions caused by ground storms and restarted at the Ambler checkpoint 2 a.m. Monday. Rather than going through Selawik, the race went through Kiana and Noorvik to Kotzebue.

Redington was the only musher to have reached Kobuk and loop back to Ambler before the race was halted. Others were either held at Ambler or instructed to return due to the storm. Redington, 38, defends his crown from the 2019 race with a time of 48 hours and 48 minutes. Tony Browning was the first musher to reach Kotzebue after the restart, with the following mushers placed based on their combined times from Kotzebue to Ambler and the return from Ambler to Kotzebue. Mushers that scratched along the race include Philip Hanke, Jeff King and Nic Petit.

1Ryan Redington
2Tony Browning
3Gunnar Johnson
4Kevin Hansen
5Sam Brewer
6Dempsey Woods Sr.
7Hugh Neff
8DJ Starr
9Reese Madden
SPhilip Hanke
SJeff King
SNic Petit

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