Emily Schwing, KUAC - Fairbanks
Emily Schwing is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.
Mushers have known since the start that this year’s race is likely to be fast, but many seemed surprised that the blistering pace would pick up so early. Mushers typically plan to maintain strong teams and take their time along the first third of the trail.
There are currently four women running among the top-20 in this year’s Iditarod. This year’s race could be both extremely fast and extremely competitive. The women in the race aren’t holding back.
Bikers obliterated a previous course record in this year’s Iditarod Trail Invitational. The first riders pedaled across the finish line Wednesday morning to complete the 350 mile race between Knik and McGrath. Four of the race’s top five finishers this year are all cyclists from Alaska.
The first six cyclists in this year’s Iditarod Trail Invitational have checked in at the Winterlake Lodge along the Iditarod trail. It’s the third checkpoint in an ultra-distance human powered race that started north of Anchorage yesterday.
Noah Pereira from New York state won the Junior Iditarod yesterday. The 16-year-old is a dog handler for Iditarod champ Dallas Seavey. Coming in second four minutes behind was Conway Seavey.
Bells jingled as Dyan Bergen pulled her team across this year’s Yukon Quest finish line. “They’re really bear bells,” she said. “We always put bells to let the buffalo and moose and wolves know we’re coming. The one time I didn’t have the bells this year, we got chased by a wolf, so I put the bear bells back on.” Bergen, from Yellowknife in Canada’s Northwest Territories, was the 20th and final musher to arrive in Fairbanks.
Three of this year’s top four Yukon Quest teams will go on to race in this year’s Iditarod – Alaska’s “other” long distance sled dog race. All top four teams are planning long-term Yukon Quest careers for their kennels as well.
A light snow fell on a small crowd gathered on the Chena River in Fairbanks as Allen Moore’s eleven-dog team pulled the musher across the Yukon Quest finish line early this morning. The win is fitting after a narrow miss last year.
Hugh Neff and Alan Moore are leading the Quest. But three teams rounding out a group of front runners are confident they can make up the time on the trail.
A demoralized and disappointed Lance Mackey pulled his dog team into Dawson this morning and voluntarily scratched from the Yukon Quest.
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 first two teams have arrived at the half-way point along the Yukon Quest trail. Hugh Neff came in first. He’ll win 4 ounces of gold if he makes it all the way to Fairbanks. Allen Moore’s team came trotting into the checkpoint chute two hours later. Neff maintains that’s Moore’s is the team to beat.
Hugh Neff is leading the Yukon Quest. He left the Stepping Stone hospitality checkpoint at 9:47 this morning. Two Rivers musher Allen Moore followed at 11:25. Brent Sass, Jake Berkowitz and Scott Smith round out the top five.
At least six Fairbanks-area Yukon Quest mushers will wear wristbands during this year’s Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race. The hand-made bracelets are part of a fundraiser to support a man in Massachusetts who is battling Cancer.
More than 300 sled dogs have been cleared to run in this year’s Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race. KUAC’s Emily Schwing stopped by the vet check in Fairbanks on Saturday to find out what it takes to become a race-worthy sled dog.
Earlier this month, the Alaska Board of Game refused to lift a six-year moratorium on proposals regarding wolves in the Denali region. The moratorium was put in place after the board canceled a trapping and hunting buffer zone on the eastern border of the park in 2010. It’s the latest in an ongoing battle between the state, environmental groups and the federal government on how best to manage wolves in Denali National Park.
Mushers in Fairbanks and Whitehorse handed over thousands of pounds of dog food, human food and personal items to Yukon Quest race officials last Saturday. The annual food drop brings both a sense of relief and taste of reality to those who are signed up to run in the international sled dog race.
The Center for Disease Control is reporting widespread flu in 47 states, including Alaska. The influenza virus has been active in the state since early November.
The state is reviewing proposals for liquefying North Slope gas, trucking it to Fairbanks, and distributing it to consumers. The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority last month solicited letters of interest in the project, and agency spokesman Karsten Rodvik says they received 16 replies by a Jan. 8 deadline.
Eielson Air Force Base was on lock down for nearly an hour on Wednesday afternoon following an inaccurate report of an active shooter on base. Emergency responders with the 354th Fighter Wing are in the midst of week-long training exercises.