FAIRBANKS -- There will be a higher payout for next year's Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, officials said Friday.
The race's two top officials, one in Alaska and the other in Canada, announced that the race's total purse will be a minimum of $115,000, up from $100,000 this year.
While it's an increase, it's still short of the $150,000 paid out in 2012, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Friday ( http://is.gd/Bab3Ww ). The low payout this year was blamed on difficulties in fundraising and finding sponsors during the down economy.
"We are happy to commit to an increased minimum purse for the 2014 race," Kerynn Fisher, president of the race's Alaska board, said in a statement. "The purse, as well as operational costs of running the race, are raised through sponsorship and fundraising.
"While we do have some important sponsors returning this year, our staff continues to work hard in securing as many additional sponsors as possible," she said.
The purse amount could be revised if there is an increase in sponsorships and fundraising.
The 1,000-mile race runs between Fairbanks and Whitehorse, Yukon, with the two cities alternating as the starting point each year. The 2014 race will start Feb. 1 in Fairbanks.
The first day mushers can sign up for the race will be Aug. 3, both in Fairbanks and Whitehorse.