1000 Mile Sled Dog Race
At the beginning of every year, deep in the Canadian and Alaskan wilderness of North America, a 1,000-mile international sled dog race is held. The Yukon Quest is a winter sport of epic proportions. The race takes place every year on the first Saturday of February. The race of course covers 1,000 miles or 1600 km between Fairbanks, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon. The start points alternate with even numbered years, beginning in Fairbanks and the odd years in Whitehorse.
Fairbanks, Alaska Whitehorse, Yukon
The Yukon Quest has been held during the brutal months of winter since 1984 and starts regardless of weather conditions. The race will span from 10 to 15 days or until the last team crosses the finish line.
The old gold rush and mail routes that were used at the beginning on the 20th Century, and were once the life line to isolated communities, is now used for this race. The trails come back to life every year with 40 to 50 sled dog teams. #alaska #yukon
A sled dog team consist of 14 athletes and one musher. Mushers must be at least 18 years of age at the start of the race and have previously completed a 200 mile race. All dogs participating in the Yukon Quest are looked over by race veterinarians before they are allowed to start. The Yukon Quest has a veterinary teams standing by at checkpoints and at dog drops in case of emergencies. #sleddog #sledrace
In keeping with traditions, teams are required to carry survival equipment of food and medical supplies during the race. Teams cannot switch out their sled without a penalty, or accept any help until they reach Dawson City which is the halfway point.
The temperatures during the race could drop as low as -40F and winds up to 100 mph. Racers will have to cross frozen rivers and navigate mountain passes. There are nine checkpoints throughout the trail, with some having more than 200 miles between them.
Yukon Quest officials provide race updates of team positions, current status, and times as mushers check in and out at the checkpoints or dog drops.
Yukon Quest Guarantees $100,000 Purse for 2020
Sled dog teams who compete in the 2020 Yukon Quest race will be competing for a $100,000 USD minimum purse.
Only the top 15 finishing teams will be awarded a percentage of the purse. Towards the end of 2019 the totaled was reported to be at $115,000.
There are many different opportunities for individual or companies can become involved. Sponsorship of veterinarian teams, checkpoints, become a supplier, or just volunteer are a few ways for people to participate in the race.
Bev Regier, President of the Yukon Board of Directors
We value our business community who step up each year to support this race. These businesses, along with those individuals who donate their time and money are what allows this race to continue every year. We’re looking forward to another great race in 2020.
Meet the 2020 Musher
The 37th Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race starts Saturday, February 1st in Fairbanks, Alaska. Good luck to all of the dog teams. Have fun and be safe. #yukonquest
If you wish to know more about the Yukon Quest Race and the teams click on the logo to go to the organization's website.
Images and information was provided by Yukon Quest