Allen and the Black Team will be starting down the trail wearing bib number 8! They will take off from the chute at 11.21am Yukon time.
Bib #8 sponsored by Moose Creek Lodge; Dog ID tags for our athletes
This evening was the sold out Start and Draw Banquet in Whitehorse which started out with a procession of the mushers led in by the Canadian Rangers - the team in charge of putting the Yukon trail in. Everyone was welcomed by Jessie Dawson, Councillor for Kwanlin Dun First Nation. Jessie shared some personal stories about what the Quest means to her and also how appreciative the First Nation were of the Quest Board who wrote to ask permission for the race to mush over their lands. We also heard Betsy Johnson from Ta'an Kwach'an First Nation blessing the mushers and the dogs.
The National Anthems of Canada and America were powerfully delivered by Barbara Chamberlain before we were welcomed by Jeanie Dendys, the Minister of Tourism & Culture, and the Mayor of the City of Whitehorse, Dan Curtis.
We even got treated to some live entertainment - the Yukon Quest Follies. There were songs about the Quest, dogs and mushers with some audience participation: "How much is that doggy in the window?" with "Questified" lyrics and "You're a pain, I bet you think this burger is for you" about a couple's favourite dog Brae. A crowd pleaser was a song about a man's 12 favourite dogs and the views he has of them as a musher. I can't really repeat many of the lyrics in polite society but it was pretty funny!
Each musher then came up to draw their bib number and say a few words. There is always many people to thank for helping just to get to the start line so there were heartfelt thanks to husbands, wives, partners, handlers, sponsors, volunteers, officials, vets, fans, and, above all, dogs.
We can't wait to get this race started!