Look no further than Big Lake musher Jake Berkowitz to see the value of running the Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race.
Berkowitz had a disappointing run to finish 10th in the 300-miler from Bethel to Aniak and back. Despite that, he earned a $3,000 check — nearly as much as the $5,500 he earned for winning the just-as-tough Copper Basin 300 earlier in the month.
Berkowitz wasn’t the only musher profiting from the Kusko’s $100,000 purse, the richest in middle-distance racing.
Runner-up Mike Williams Jr. of Akiak took home $15,000 — or $11,000 more than he earned for an impressive 26th place finish in his rookie Iditarod run last year.
Ditto for third-place finisher Pete Kaiser of Bethel, who took home $10,000 — up $7,300 from last year’s Iditarod, where he finished two spots behind Williams.
-- Mike Campbell