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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race

The quest starts downtown Fairbanks on the frozen Chena River

Today was the beginning of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog race.  It is a 1000 mile race this year from Fairbanks to Whitehorse Yukon.  The start alternates each year, next year the race will begin in Whitehorse and end in Fairbanks.  I didn't actually go this year, I worked, but my husband and daughter spent a little time there this am.  It was a chilly start, -20 this am, not too nice for the spectators, but good for the mushers and dogs, being too warm is hard on them.  As my husband is not really into this blogging thing, he doesn't seem to see the need to bring the camera or snap pictures of everything to maybe blog later, so these pictures are from several years ago. 
These dogs sure can't wait to run!
The course follows the route of the historic 1890s Klondike gold rush, mail delivery, and transportation routes between Fairbanks, Dawson City and Whitehorse. Mushers pack up to 250 pounds of equipment and provisions for themselves and their dogs to survive between checkpoints. They are permitted to leave dogs at checkpoints and dog drops, but not to replace the.  The Sleds may not be replaced (without penalty) and mushers cannot accept help from non-racers except at Dawson City, the halfway mark. Ten checkpoints and four dog drops, some more than 200 miles  apart, lie along the trail.  Veterinarians are present at each to ensure the health and welfare of the dogs.  (Wikipedia) I've heard it is the hardest sled dog race.

One of the mushers, sorry I have no idea which year or which musher this is.
My son at a much younger age.  Clearly a much warmer year, since he's only wearing a sweat shirt
If you want to learn more about the race or would like to follow the results here is a link to the official web site  http://yukonquest.com/


  1. I meant to take the kids this year, but missed what day it was going to happen. That's what I get for not planning better. It must be pretty exciting to actually witness their takeoff.

  2. It's great fun. In march is the open North American (I think that's what it's called) its fun to watch & it's over 3 days

  3. I have only seen this type of thing in movies. I like how the sled driver has to work as hard as the dogs. It just seems so dang cold! Glad you said the dogs like it better that way.

  4. Oh what fun...it has always been my dream to one day do the Iditarod...but alas, I would probably end up dead, so my persuit of anything like that is just going to have to remain a "dream"....always great to dream as well.

    Thanks for the photos...seemed like I was there...well, almost LOL.

  5. The stories of what the sledders have to go through and the dogs is amazing. sandie