Yukon Quest 2008 Update: The Race is On Again!

The race is on as three-time Yukon Quest Champion Lance Mackey and his rival in this year’s race, Ken Anderson, enter the second half of the 2008 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race. Mackey, 37, and Anderson, 35, are both from the Fairbanks, Alaska area. They departed Dawson City under the light of the moon following a mandatory 36-hour layover in this Gold Rush-era town of 1,800. The two were only six minutes apart, leaving at 1:40 and 1:46 a.m., respectively. Anderson is a rookie in the Yukon Quest but has enjoyed high standings in Alaska’s 1,000-mile Iditarod and is considered stiff competition for Mackey, the man they call “unbeatable.” Besides winning the Yukon Quest in 2005, 2006 and 2007, Mackey won the 2007 Iditarod. It was the first time anyone had won both races in the same year. The next three mushers to leave Dawson City today are 27-year-old Yukon Quest veteran Brent Sass, also of Fairbanks, Michelle Phillips, 39, of Whitehorse, Yukon, and Dave Dalton, 50, of Healy, Alaska. Sass embarked on the trail, which follows the Yukon River past downtown Dawson, at 12:43 p.m. He told fans and friends who gathered to see him off that his goal is to make it among the top five across the Finish Line 451 miles ( 726 kilometres) south in Whitehorse. Phillips and Dalton, also Yukon Quest veterans, left within the next hour. The three mushers tailing this race were led out of Fortymile, 48 miles (77 kilometres) from Dawson City, by snowmachine around noon today. A heavy snowfall last night made the trail difficult to see and navigate, forcing two of them to turn back at 8:30 a.m. this morning. For an excellent account of the race from the ground and air, check out Ken Anderson and Gwenn Holdmann’s website at: www.windycreekkennel.comMore news, photos and audio reports:http://www.kuac.org/08yukon.html


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