SP Kennel is a premier sled dog racing kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska, dedicated to the individual dog through excellent health, nutrition, training and specialized care.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Yukon Quest Pre-Game

The Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race has been running between Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory of Canada and Fairbanks, Alaska since 1984. The Yukon Quest Trail crosses frozen rivers and four mountain summits. There are nine checkpoints; some of which are more than 200 miles apart as well as five "dog drop" and/or hospitality stops in-between checkpoints.



The Yukon Quest website has some excellent information about the race and its history so when you get a moment - check it out. "The Yukon Quest Trail follows historical Gold Rush and mail delivery dog sled routes from the turn of the 20th Century. Once the transportation “highways” of the Northern frontier, the Yukon Quest Trail now comes alive each February with the frosty breath and haunting howls of hundreds of sled dogs. Up to 50 dog teams consisting of one human 'musher' and 14 canine athletes tread across some of the last pristine wilderness remaining in North America."

The race is known for its sometimes rough terrain and extreme weather conditions. Being run in February the temperatures are certainly unpredictable - one year it can be run in frigid -40F conditions and the next year it could be +30F, with the conditions changing as the race goes on.

Allen and the SP Kennel Black Team are the defending champions of the Yukon Quest 1000. He's looking forward to starting the race and getting out on the trail after many weeks of training, planning and build-up. There will be 26 teams starting on Saturday.


Allen hugs Quito at the finish line in Takhini Hot Springs; Aliy with her YQ300 leaders Honda and Pud at the start of the YQ300 in Fairbanks

Each year the Yukon Quest 300 mile race is run at the same time. This year it starts in Whitehorse and travels the same route as the 1000 mile race until Pelly Crossing. Once there the teams do an out-and-back loop and cross the finish line back in Pelly.

Aliy and the SPK Red Team are the defending champions of the YQ300, having last year won it on the north route (from Fairbanks to Circle and doubling back to Central). They will start on Saturday a few hours after the 1000 milers and she will be running a youthful team in this race. 23 teams will start the YQ300.

The starting bib draw for the YQ1000 will happen at the Starters Banquet on Thursday evening and for the YQ300 at the mushers meeting on Friday so we will let you know our teams' starting positions as soon as we know. Team rosters will be out on Saturday morning as the starting line-up of both teams is not finalised yet.

9 comments:

Linda Toth said...

Well, my dance card for all of next week is filled folks .. you know where I will be!

Margaret said...

Woof, woof, woof!!!

Power to the SP Kennel Teams!!!

Great good luck, too!!!

Helen Hegener said...

All best wishes to your entire kennel for safe, fun, successful trips! See you on the trail...

marilyn cozzens said...

Yeah, the YQ is about to start. Go SPK sweep both races. Red Team & Black Team best of luck. Looking forward to finding out which dogs make the teams. I have to get my race charts ready. Super excited.

Dawn E said...

awesome week for me to be on vacation! I can stare at that dang GPS tracker for HOURS!!!

Lisa B said...

All the best to the SPK mushers and dogs - have great races! Looking to forward to hitting the tracker refresh endlessly...

Nessmuk said...

I can hardly wait till Saturday!!! The Yukon Quest has an awesome history...it's a super tough race especially going east to west with Eagle Summit in the later part of the race. Good luck to the SP Kennel Champs!!

Mary Lynn Roush said...

Good luck and happy, healthy trails to both the Red and Black teams. Go SPK,

Lourdes, VT said...

Well, it's finally here, the YQ!!! I await this moment the whole year to see our beloved teams engage in such a wonderful adventure!!!
Best of luck to both dog teams and their mushers!!! I'm going to be 'glued' to my iPhone so I don't miss any post when theory get posted!!!