Yukon Quest sled-dog race gets big birthday present from Yukon government

The Yukon Quest is turning 30 next year, and the Yukon government is helping to make the occasion a joyous one by pitching in $50,000 for pre-race celebrations.

The money is in addition to the $150,000 provided to the race annual by the Yukon's Department of Tourism and Culture.

"The Yukon Quest captures the romance of the North and the imagination of adventure seekers world-wide," Tourism and Culture minister Mike Nixon said in a press release. "We are pleased to support Quest organizers with this additional funding to help them celebrate the 30th anniversary of this courageous endurance race."

The annual sled-dog race is an international that runs 1,000 miles between Fairbanks and Whitehorse, Yukon. The 30th annual race starts Feb. 2 in Whitehorse and ends in Fairbanks.

So far, 21 mushers are entered, including some of the race's greatest racers.

Defending champion Hugh Neff plans to be back, as does runnerup Allen Moore, who Neff passed in the final 20 miles this year to claim his first Quest title.

Also entered are four-time champion Lance Mackey and perennial contender Brent Sass.

The $50,000 in Canadian dollars will help pay for pre-race anniversary events in Yukon that "celebrate the history of mushing associated with the gold rush, trappers, traders and mail carriers who helped to develop the territory and whose legacy inspired the creation of the Yukon Quest," the press release said.

In Alaska, the celebration will kick off at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, with a party at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks. Earlier that day in Fairbanks, there will be a workshop for rookie mushers.

The deadline for entering the race is Dec. 7.


Neff beats Moore
Anchorage Daily News