Despite un-seasonably warm temperatures, enough snow and ice remained on the Kenai Peninsula to have the largest Peninsula Winter Games ever held.
According to Myra Arbelobsky, coordinator for the 2003 Games, over 200 kids participated in the ice cube scavenger hunt, and there were more events, ice carvers, dog mushers, food, and prizes then ever before. Overall, Arbelobsky estimated that some 5,000 people participated in the 2003 Peninsula Winter Games. "We fed over 700 kids lunch, we had over 500 people for dinner, and some 300 for breakfast," said Arbelobsky.
The Buddy & Me Dog Weight Pull drew record number of participants at the 2003 Winter Games.
At the Soldotna State Championship dog weight pull, a 50 pound Alaskan Husky named Raspberry, owned by Kat and Rob Gambill took the winners share of the $1,000 total purse in the Ultra light division, by pulling a sled with a weight of 650 pounds. In the Lightweight division, a Labrador cross weighing 81 pounds, managed to pull 1,100 pounds, and in the Middleweight division, Dude, another Labrador mix, weighing 120 pounds, managed to pull 1,400 pounds across the finish line. In the Buddy & Me dog weight pull, a Husky named Max, owned by Rick Chess pulled the big weight of the day of 600 pounds.
In the Junior Musher Sled Dog Race, which unlike the Tustemena 200, did not have to be canceled this year, Madeleine Michaud was the winner of the 1-Dog Division for 5-7 year olds, Fox Michaud won the 2-Dog Division for 5-7 year olds, and in the 8-10 year olds Zach Lang took first place with his team.
In the most elaborate Ice Carving competition ever assembled on the Peninsula, the local team of Jon Iverson and Scott Manson took 1st Place and the People's Choice Award with their phenomenal carving entitled "In God We Trust," 2nd Place was awarded to Jim Brown and Scott Thompson for their emerging Dragon sculpture, 3rd Place was "Flame" by Spurio Stevens, and 4th Place went to Tom and Carol Lewando of Anchorage, for their carving of "Here Comes The Sun," Tony Warren and Dave Sauer were selected for 5th Place with their beautiful sculpture entitled, "Under the Sea."
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