Two-time Quest champion Allen Moore and 2017 Quest Champion Matt Hall have both checked into Braeburn, the final checkpoint on this year’s Yukon Quest trail.
In first position is Allen Moore, who has led the pack for most of this year’s race. Matt Hall holds second position, checking into Braeburn five hours and one minute after Moore at 4:08 PST this afternoon. Two minutes after Moore checked into Braeburn, Paige Drobny checked out of Carmacks on her way to the last checkpoint. Behind third-positioned Drobny, Ed Hopkins and Laura Neese are in fourth and fifth position, respectively. Neese checked out of Carmacks one hour after Hopkins at 6:47 PST this morning.
The highest ranking rookie of the race, Vebjorn Aishana Reitan, rounds out the pack of mushers who have reached and left Carmacks. He left Carmacks just before Moore officially checked into Braeburn for his final 8-hour layover before traveling the trail to Whitehorse.
And those last one hundred miles to Whitehorse will see a flurry of action beyond Moore and Hall’s racing teams. Weatherunderground.com predicts a 70% chance of snow showers this evening and a 60% chance tomorrow in Whitehorse.
The front musher in this year’s Yukon Quest is one checkpoint away from the finish line. According to the leaderboard, two-time Quest champion Allen Moore checked into Braeburn at 11:07 PST this morning, for the required 8-hour layover. He’s now just 100 miles from the Whitehorse finish.
Matt Hall, last year’s champion, currently holds second position. He departed the previous checkpoint, Carmacks, early Monday morning at 5:02 PST.
Paige Drobny maintains third position as she left Carmacks at 6:10 Monday morning, just about thirty minutes ahead of fourth-positioned Ed Hopkins. Rounding out the top five is 21-year-old Laura Neese, who is running with the fewest dogs out of the Quest leaders thus far in the race. Neese checked out of Carmacks at 7:47 am PST with nine dogs.
Three mushers scratched over the weekend at Dawson City — Hugh Neff, Torsten Kohnert and Severin Cathry — leaving 15 out of the 26 mushers who started out on the trail.
Photo: Allen Moore at the Iditarod Ceremonial Start in Anchorage in 2015. (Photo: Matthew Smith, KNOM)