Jessie Holmes wins 2023 Kobuk 440

Jessie Holmes wins 2023 Kobuk 440
Published: Apr. 10, 2023 at 7:58 AM AKDT
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KOTZEBUE, Alaska (KTUU) - Jessie Holmes pieced together a nearly wire-to-wire win Sunday to capture the Kobuk 440 sled dog race.

Holmes came across the finish line in Kotzebue with a final time of 2 days 20 hours, and 7 minutes.

The Kobuk 440 is the last major mid-distance mushing race of the season and there were plenty of big names in the field.

Holmes was fresh off a fifth-place finish in this year’s Iditarod, and right behind him in second place was Richie Diehl, who finished third in the Iditarod last month.

The Kobuk 440 is renowned for the hospitality that the mushers receive on their way from Kotzebue to Kobuk. The race takes the mushers in a loop, starting in Kotzebue before heading to Noorvik, Kiana, Ambler, Shungnak, Kobuk, and back through the same four checkpoints before finishing where they started in Kotzebue.

Michelle Phillips, Hugh Neff and Bailey Vitello ran third through fifth, respectively, and were about as close as it can get in mushing as well, with just an hour and a half separating them.

Top five mushersTotal time
1. Jessie Holmes2d, 20h 7m
2. Richie Diehl2d, 23h, 5m
3. Michelle Phillips3d, 0h, 6m
4. Hugh Neff3d, 0h, 28m
5. Bailey Vitello3d, 1h, 24m

None of the 12 teams in this year’s Kobuk 440 field have scratched.

The race can be tracked on the Kobuk 440 website.