Mansfield native wins 300-mile Alaska sled dog race in record time

Mansfield native wins 300-mile Alaska sled dog race in record time
K300 winner Matthew Failor

MANSFIELD, OH (WOIO) - A Mansfield native and Ohio State University graduate took home the fastest time in the 2019 Kuskokwim 300, a grueling sled dog race across the Alaskan terrain.

The 300-mile race spans from Bethel, Alaska to Aniak, then back to the finishing line in Bethel.

In only his third K300 race ever, Matthew Failor finished with the fastest time. Failor departed Bethel on Jan. 18 at 6:32 p.m. and returned on Jan. 20 at 7:02 a.m., finishing in 36 hours, 32 minutes, and 33 seconds.

2019 KUSKOKWIM 300 17th-Dog Through Aniak and back to Kalskag around noon. For awhile it felt as if we were ‘racing’ these Moose! We saw many along the trail. Thankfully the big animals all steered clear of our team and trail. These two wanted to head the same direction towards an island off your left. After 30 seconds my fingers were cold enough so I put the phone back in the pocket! The two moose crossed the trail just in front of us and the dogs keep their eyes peeled on them until they disappeared into the brush. 12 dogs on the line. Maybe 0 degrees and a light breeze. #moose #sleddogs #champions #kuskokwim300 #hardwork #needforspeed #teammatthewfailor

Posted by 17th-Dog/Team Matthew Failor on Monday, January 28, 2019

The 2007 OSU alum, who races for his own kennel 17th-Dog and manages about 50 huskies, says he beat the record race time of approximately 37 hours. The time was set in 1994 by his mentor Martin Buser.

“My kennel and family always knew the dogs could win; it was just a matter of putting them in a position to succeed,” Failor said.

In 2011 my first race ever, happened to be the famed Kuskokwim 300. Working as a handler for my mentor and good friend...

Posted by 17th-Dog/Team Matthew Failor on Thursday, January 24, 2019

What’s next for Failor? The Mansfield native will compete in the 1,000-mile Iditarod Race beginning on March 2.

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