Copper Basin 300: Why Nicolas Petit Withdrew From 2022 Race

 Nic Petit, A Favorite To Win The Copper Basin 300,  Never Got To The Starting Line After His Truck Froze Up In The Cold Weather  Musher Nic...

 Nic Petit, A Favorite To Win The Copper Basin 300, Never Got To The Starting Line After His Truck Froze Up In The Cold Weather 

Musher Nick Petit. (Photo, TeamPetit) 

Sunday, January 9th, 2022

Nic Petit isn't running the CB300 as of Sunday, January 9th, one day into this year's extremely cold race. It's not because he's scratched. He just never started. His truck froze up.

The Copper River Country Journal talked with Katie Lloyd, who – with her husband, Jim – works with Nic Petit out of Big Lake. 

Katie said,

"He never started. He went to the race, and had his truck frozen up. He stays at a friend’s house who’s a permanent resident out there. It wasn’t going to start this year. His truck was froze up solid. They tried jumping it for an hour. The engine wasn’t moving. He didn’t make the start line. It was the cold. I think the Copper Valley wins."

This was a surprise. Katie continued:

"Nic has had a lot of success in Copper Basin. (But) every race is a new race."

So what did he do?

"He decided to volunteer for the race. So he is handling. He’s putting little Facebook updates up about the mushers as they come in. He’s never done this side of it. He’s having a lot of fun. Making the best of a disappointing situation. He just lives for mushing. He loves it so much. When he told me his truck wasn’t starting, that's when he said he was going to volunteer for the race. He has a handler out there who’s able to take care of his dogs... So he's volunteering. It’s just about the dogs, right? He just loves it so much..."

Trucks are a real problem at these temperatures. In 1996, when the CB300 was scratched due to extreme and dangerous cold weather, trucks wouldn't start at Chistochina. But it happens a lot. Added Katie:

"I handled two years ago when it was 60 below at Sourdough. Many of us just had to keep the trucks running. It was the only way."

Katie Lloyd purchased property in Big Lake in 2019. She and her husband, John, do recreational mushing with Nic. However, she points out: 

"We’re not professional mushers like Nic is."

She recounted a story about how Nic Petit got into dog mushing. Not all dogs are racing dogs:

"He had like a beautiful, fluffy Siberian-something. He was really, really beautiful. So Nic named him “Ugly.” He just fell in love with this husky. He was really slow. Nic would mush him around Girdwood. They call them “Slow-Berians.” 

Together they co-own Alaska Dogstead Mushing Company in Big Lake. Nic got his start, though, in Girdwood. Which had its limitations for mushing:

"If you’re familiar with the geography there isn’t anything in Girdwood for a distance musher of Nic’s  caliber. He spent summers in Girdwood and he moved the team up north in winter time. This is the permanent home now of the team, summer and winter. We finally got the opportunity to put in trails and have a place to move around…"

Big Lake is near Willow. And:

"Willow is the capital of mushing. We share the trail with all the mushers from Knik. They train on the Iditarod Trail. He’s in a good frame of mind. He’s in good spirits about it. I get the impression he’s having a really good time, seeing the other side of the race; making the best of an unfortunate situation." 


Copper River Country Journal


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