780 AM | 96.1 FM 


(907) 443-5221

Nome’s Hoogendorn brothers win debut season of ‘Race to Survive: Alaska’

The first season finale of Race to Survive: Alaska was held Monday, June 5 at the Katirvik Cultural Center.
The first season finale of Race to Survive: Alaska was held Monday, June 5 at the Katirvik Cultural Center. Photo by Ava White/KNOM

This story was reported and written by KNOM reporter Ava White

Nome residents and brothers Oliver and Wilson Hoogendorn, competing as the “AK Boys” on USA Network’s Race to Survive: Alaska television series, took home the championship on Monday, June 5 during a watch party – and in front of a packed hometown audience.

The series finale was viewed by more than 100 attendees at the Katirvik Cultural Center.

After showcasing their win – which includes a $500,000 cash prize – in front of the standing-room-only crowd, they said this is what was most challenging.

“The most challenging aspect is shows probably starving for like 50 days.” The pair said. “100 percent.”

The first season of Race to Survive: Alaska aired starting in March of this year and showcased eight teams embarking on a competition to survive the Alaskan wilderness. The brothers competed over the summer across the 50-day survival course, becoming the first winners of the show.

The eight teams of two competed in six races over 100 miles of wilderness in rough and rural Alaska.

The brothers faced treacherous terrain and weather, but persevered and brought the win home to Nome. They said they needed each other more than anything else during the competition.

“It was absolutely necessary … I think with any other partner wouldn’t have gone as well, so I’m glad we had each other,” Oliver said, with Wilson adding, “If I didn’t have my brother as a partner, we probably wouldn’t have won.”

The teams were only allowed to use what they could carry on their back and used their wildland skills to make it through each race.

With their winnings, the pair say they plan to give back to the Nome community, and they thanked numerous family members, friends and supporters after the airing of the episode.

Image at top: The first season finale of Race to Survive: Alaska was held Monday, June 5 at the Katirvik Cultural Center. Photo by Ava White/KNOM

Share this story


Recent Posts

KNOM Radio to Host First-Ever Music Fest

KNOM Radio Mission will host its first-ever Music Fest Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15. The event, hosted at KNOM’s Back Yard, will be a great opportunity for the Bering Strait region to gather and celebrate the start of summer. Admission to the event is free.  The two-day Music Fest will feature

Read More »

June 13: Rick Thoman’s Climate Highlight for Western Alaska

The following is a transcript from Rick Thoman’s weekly “Climate Highlight for Western Alaska” provided to KNOM Radio. Thoman is a Climate Specialist with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Sea ice has not completely melted out of the Bering Sea, there

Read More »

Teller Man Arrested for Terroristic Threatening

A Teller man has been arrested and transported to Nome’s Anvil Mountain Correctional Center following allegations of threatening to burn down a house, according to an affidavit from Alaska State Troopers. The affidavit reports that Chester Topkok, 26, was reported by his niece, Belinda Smith, who called Troopers on June

Read More »

Charity Lewis Crowned Miss ANB 2024

Charity Lewis was crowned 2024’s Miss Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB) at the pageant held on June 12. The event held at Nome’s Mini Convention Center showcased the cultural heritage of two contestants, Victoria Gray and Charity Lewis. Both participated in Miss ANB for the first time.  The pageant began with

Read More »



Work for Us:




(907) 443-5221 


(907) 868-1200 

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.