Yukon Quest 2008 Update

Race Update from Circle City, AlaskaIn the Yukon Quest 300, reports from the home front of Aliy Zirkle and Allen Moore are that the two are healthy and happy with their decisions to scratch from the race. Moore developed a fever on the trail and when his partner Aliy caught up, the two decided to scratch together and drove their dogs straight to their home in Two Rivers rather than to the next checkpoint. Zirkle, the Yukon Quest’s 2000 Champion, promptly took her spouse to hospital where he spent the night and was treated for dehydration. Jocelyne LeBlanc of Whitehorse also scratched. She apparently found herself ill-equipped to deal with the bitter temperatures. Here in Circle City, Josh Cadzow, 20, of Fort Yukon, AK, is the only 300 musher to have checked in to Circle City and check out; he left at 4:05 p.m. In the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest, things finally started heating up. Dan Kaduce, 38, of Chatanika, AK, had blazed ahead of the pack all the way to Circle, which he entered just after 6 a.m. But three-time Yukon Quest Champion Lance Mackey, 37, and Ken Anderson, 35, who has enjoyed high standings in the Iditarod, arrived and then left together, putting Kaduce into third place. The race’s second youngest competitor, 27-year-old veteran Brent Sass and the race’s oldest competitor, 61-year-old veteran Bill Cotter left Circle City this afternoon. Sass has been the most chipper musher to come off any section of trail. His father and dog-handler Mark has been proudly soaking up praise of his son’s accomplishments at each checkpoint. Today the list of scratched mushers rose to six as rookie Becca Moore, 36, of Willow, AK, joined a chorus of mushers facing Eagle Summit from Mile 101 Dog Drop who just couldn’t bring themselves to move forward. Moore tried the ascent today but turned back. Whitehors’s Didier Moggia, 47, and Andreas Moser, 45, of Switzerland did the same the day before. Bruce Milne, Paul Geoffrion and Frank Turner also opted to avoid Eagle Summit, even though trail conditions there are reportedly typical – strong winds and blowing snow, but good trail coverage and moderate visibility. It’s suppertime here in Circle City Checkpoint and everyone’s waiting on six mushers to come in: Julie Estey, Ann Ledwidge, Bill Pinkham, Jean-denis Britten and Kyla Boivin. Seven mushers remain, either sleeping, eating or snacking their dogs. The next section of trail sees the Yukon River for the first time. From the edge of this remote town, you can see mounds of jumble ice jutting several feet high. It is 58 miles (93 km) from here to Slaven’s Cabin Dog Drop and another 101 (163) miles to Eagle Checkpoint.


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