This evening in the Whitehorse Convention Centre a packed house saw the mushers draw their bib numbers for Saturday's race start. Allen and the Black Team will lead the teams out of the start chute and onto the trail at exactly 11am local time.
Check out the Yukon Quest website post for information about when the other mushers will start.
The evening was good fun with entertainment from the Fiddleheads group, who also performed the National Anthems. We had some welcoming remarks and a blessing by the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council followed by welcoming speeches from the Commissioner Doug Philips, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Culture Jeff O'Farrell and the Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis.
The Fiddleheads perform to the crowd
Each musher got up on stage to draw their bib number then some told stories, thanked dogs, sponsors, volunteers, handlers and officials, and friends and family. One even got the entire room to sing "Happy Birthday" to his wife (we're looking at you Cody Strathe).
Can you spot any familiar faces?
The buffet dinner was sensational, as always - thanks team!
Part of the delicious buffet banquet dinner; dog tags for bib #1
It was great to catch up with a number of people we perhaps see only once a year at the Quest: mushers, handlers, volunteers and supporters. There was certainly a buzz about the evening as there's just one more day then it's all on!
Earlier today Allen had musher meetings where the mushers heard about trail conditions and discussed rules and procedures for the race. He also met with his "Quest Guest" Nicky. She, along with Marla are part of "Bev's Army" of volunteers and do a great deal for the race all year round. It will be great to have Nicky in the sled on Saturday for the first mile and a half of the course. Thank you gals, and all the volunteers - we would not have a race without you!