Molly Rettig, KUAC - Fairbanks

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Alaska News Nightly by Alaska Public Media

The top rookie in this year’s Yukon Quest crossed the finish line in Fairbanks yesterday. Katherine Keith of Kotzebue arrived just before noon Wednesday (Feb. 15), with ten dogs to claim Rookie of the Year honors. Keith has run the Iditarod three times, but this was her first Yukon Quest. Listen now

The Yukon Quest has a winner! Matt Hall, a Two River musher, had to overcome adversity and have a little luck along the way. Listen now

After a fast start the Yukon Quest has been slow in recent days, as extreme cold and fatigue took their toll. The 75-mile run from Circle to Central, which typically takes lead teams ten hours, stretched to 16 or more into Sunday. Listen now

Yukon Quest front runner Brent Sass got back on the trail this morning after completing the 36 hour break mushers must take at the race’s halfway point in Dawson City, Yukon. Sass was followed about 4 hours later by Hugh Neff, with close running Matt Hall and Allen Moore about another 2 hours back. Listen now

The race is tight between top Yukon Quest mushers, headed toward the race‘s halfway point at Dawson City, Yukon. Listen now

Defending champion Hugh Neff, and past winners Brent Sass and Allen Moore are pushing the pace at the front of Yukon Quest Sled Dog race. Also in the early mix are top rookie Katherine Keith and Quest veterans Matt Hall and Ed Hopkins. Leaders rested at Steeping Stone today (Feb. 6), 285 miles into the race, which started Saturday in Whitehorse. Trail conditions are allowing fast travel. Listen now

Last week a group of scientists traveled to a small village in the Arctic to find as many different species as they could. It was happening all over the country in celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the National Park Service. But it had special meaning in Anaktuvuk Pass, where the local Inupiaq people live a subsistence lifestyle inside of a national park. Download Audio

Mushers and fans gathered over the weekend to celebrate the completion of the 2016 Yukon Quest in Whitehorse. The event was highlighted by awards and stories from the trail. About a dozen Tlingit dancers paraded onto the stage in fur, feathers, and traditional clothing to congratulate Hugh Neff for winning the Yukon Quest. Download Audio

The Yukon Quest is winding down. The last musher, Canadian rookie Gaeton Pierrard is expected to cross the finish line early Friday morning. Running at the back of the pack can be just as trying and rewarding as racing at the front. That was the case for rookie mushers Andy Pace and Laura Neese. Download Audio

Yukon Quest mushers continue to come across the finish line, and competition in is not confined to winning when it comes to the thousand mile sled dog race. There was a battle between two Quest mushers who finished nearly a day behind the winner. Download Audio

Yukon Quest mushers continue to come across the finish line, and competition in is not confined to winning when it comes to the thousand-mile sled dog race. Download Audio

Yukon Quest teams continue to make their way to the race’s finish in Whitehorse, but mushers and their dogs aren’t the only athletes on the trail. An ultra-cyclist from Fairbanks peddled the thousand mile trail. Download Audio

Hugh Neff won the Yukon Quest on Monday. After flying under radar behind first half leaders Brent Sass and Allen Moore, the 2012 champ had built a commanding lead heading toward the Whitehorse finish. The top 10 finishers will split a $115,000 prize, and Neff will take home about $35,000. Download Audio

It was warm and misty on the Yukon River as Brent Sass left Dawson City with fourteen dogs just after midnight. Snowdrifts, ice melt and gold mines are just a few things mushers have to look out for in the second half of the Yukon Quest.The warm weather has caused some of the glaciated hillsides to melt onto the trail. Download Audio

The top Yukon Quest teams are in Dawson City, Yukon, settled in for a mandatory 36-hour layover at the race’s halfway point. Brent Sass was first into Dawson yesterday. Download Audio

Brent Sass covered the 150-mile distance from Eagle to Dawson in two runs. He said his team was feeling better in Eagle after starting the race with some stomach issues.

Frontrunners in the Yukon Quest are running toward the race’s halfway point at Dawson City, Yukon. Defending Quest champion Brent Sass continues to lead the race. The Eureka musher was in an out of the Eagle checkpoint first this morning, after 4 hours of mandatory rest. Download Audio

Brent Sass is leading the Yukon Quest. He is followed by Hugh Neff, Ed Hopkins, Allen More and Matt Hall. The next section of trail takes teams along the Yukon River to the community of Eagle. Quest mushers made the daunting traverse of Eagle Summit on Sunday. Download Audio

The order is set for tomorrow’s start of the Yukon Quest. The 23 mushers, slated to begin the race in downtown Fairbanks, drew numbers Thursday night to determine the running order. The first person to leave for Whitehorse on Saturday will be a 19-year-old rookie from Ohio.

Saturday’s Yukon Quest start is being relocated due to rough ice conditions on the Chena River in downtown Fairbanks. Race organizers say the start chute will shift from its traditional spot on the ice near the Cushman Street Bridge, several hundred yards up river to solid ground behind the Morris Thompson Center. From there, dog teams will drop onto the Chena, in an area where ice conditions are better. Download Audio