The headquarters of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race in both Alaska and Canada were buzzing Saturday with talk of snow and mushing.
Two-time champion Allen Moore plans to return.
“We’re gonna do the same that we’ve done every year,” he says. “Hopefully we’ll have a good chance at the end. There’s lots of people that will have a good chance to win, but everything has to line up, as you know.”
But Moore can’t run the exact same race he has the last four years. This year, mushers and dogs will see a mandatory 36 hour layover at the race’s midway point in Dawson City reduced by 12 hours. Two hours have been added to another mandatory stop at the checkpoint in Eagle, and teams will take two additional six hour layovers at a checkpoint of their choosing in the first and last third of the race. Moore says the new rules shake up his tried-and-true race strategy.
“I’ll probably have to add rest at other places, probably,” he says. “We did set a record pace a couple years ago when we were coming this direction.”
But in 2013, race official diverted the trail around American Summit near Eagle. Evenso, Moore says a pace that fast will require rest somewhere, regardless of whether its mandatory or not.
So far, 21 mushers have add their names to the roster.