Dawson Layover Extended to 40 Hours
Dawson City, YK - Yukon Quest race officials have extended the mandatory 36 hour layover in Dawson City by four hours. It’s the second major change to this year’s race.
The next stop on the Yukon Quest trail is Eagle. Race personnel in the tiny Alaskan community are scrambling to get their checkpoint setup in time for the frontrunners. Race Marshall Doug Grilliot says limited access there further complicates race logistics. “We have to fly to Eagle," Grilliot said. "So when you start looking at the numbers when people can get there, potentially if the river is really good, we could have people getting there as early as noon. If we leave at 10 in the morning, the window of a couple hours is just too tight to make sure those teams had the proper services.”
Grilliot announced the additional time just as Eureka musher Brent Sass arrived in Dawson late Tuesday night. “I actually luckily did a pretty conservative run," said Sass of his run into Dawson. "I did a long run but we stopped a lot and rested a lot. We took 14 hours coming into here so I didn’t really push them real hard, which was good, but it definitely would have been nice to know that before I left Pelly,” he said. Sass says he’s happy to bank some extra rest. He says he gave his dogs ample down time in the first 450 miles of trail.
Two Rivers musher Abby West wasn’t aware of the additional layover time either. She was surprised when the race Marshall told her the change was necessary because teams were moving so fast. “I’m not fast, I’m slow, aren’t I? I felt slow,” she laughed.
But West doesn’t mind the change. “I get to take that many showers and go to sleep much longer and eat more hamburgers or whatever they’re gonna feed me here and the dogs can always use more rest.”
Musher’s will reevalutae their strategies to account for the added rest time. Their also looking at a reroute of the trail that eliminates an impassable American Summit and shaves 50 miles from the race.