Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Yukon Quest will offer a $150,000 purse for the 2011 race. The prize money is on par with what’s been paid out the last two years. Quest Alaska executive director Marty Steury says the race organization is announcing the purse earlier than normal in anticipation of the August 7th opening day of musher signups.
Steury says maintaining the purse is challenging, and that the Quest is keeping the entry fee at $1,500.
All mushers who sign up either in person on August 7th at the Fairbanks or Whitehorse Quest offices, or by that date through the mail, are entered into a drawing that refunds a $1,000 to one lucky musher.
There are a few changes that will take effect for the 2010 Quest. For instance, veteran mushers will no longer have the option of getting dogs checked pre-race by their own veterinarians. Steury says rookie and veteran teams will be examined by Quest vets a couple days before the start.
Steury says the change is in response to Quest mushers as a way to jump start the relationship with race vets. Another change being implemented this year moves up where start differential times are accounted for.
Steury says that will happen at the first checkpoint to avoid any confusion about who’s really leading as the race progresses. In the past the interval start differential hasn’t been accounted for until the halfway point at Dawson City.
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