Update, 10am Friday (12/8/2017): Vebjorn Aishana Reitan of Kaktovik reportedly registered for the 2018 Yukon Quest by the December 1st deadline, bringing the total musher count to 28. According to a release from the Yukon Quest, this field of 28 mushers is the largest the Quest has seen since 2009.
Ike Underwood of Aniak is the latest of 27 mushers to sign up for the 2018 Yukon Quest sled dog race.
Though Underwood is a rookie to the Quest, he is no stranger to long distance sled dog races. According to the Yukon Quest, Underwood has been running dogs for 20 years and recently competed in the 2016 and 2017 Kuskokwim 300.
Underwood is joined by 11 other rookies looking to complete their first 1,000-mile race from Fairbanks to Whitehorse, Yukon. Being an international competition, the Quest features mushers from Germany, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, the US and UK, as well as New Zealand this year.
There is a 50 musher limit in place for this year’s Quest, with late entries being accepted until January 5th. The 2018 Yukon Quest begins on February 3rd in Fairbanks.
Image at top: A dogsled team in the Yukon Quest leaves Slaven’s Roadhouse, Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, Alaska. Photo Credit: National Park Service (2013).