The reigning Yukon Quest champion was among the 18 mushers who signed up for the 2020 sled dog race by Friday’s (Nov 29th) regular entry deadline. The Quest will accept 50 total mushers, but anyone entering between now and January 3rdmust pay an extra $500.
According to Brent Sass, who won last year’s race in nine days and a matter of minutes, most of his younger dogs from the 2019 championship team will be running this year as well.
Sass will face stiff competition in his bid to win back-to-back Yukon Quests, from veteran mushers like Dave Dalton, Michelle Phillips, and Allen Moore. Moore said in his race bio that half of his team will be four-year-olds in the upcoming 2020 race.
So far, this year’s Yukon Quest roster features five rookies, one of whom is the granddaughter of one of the race’s founders. Olivia Webster, granddaughter to LeRoy Shank, says that she entered the Quest with the goal of finishing before her grandfather passes away. Although Webster competed in last year’s race, she scratched before reaching the finish line and is therefore still considered a rookie to the Quest.
Interested mushers have until January 3rd to enter the 1,000-mile sled dog race. No entries will be accepted after that day. The 2020 Yukon Quest begins on February 1stin Fairbanks.
*Update: According to a social media post from the Yukon Quest, Matthew Failor, last year’s Kuskokwim 300 winner, entered the Quest before the regular entry deadline ended. This will be the second time he’s been in the 1,000 international sled dog race. His rookie race was in 2013 and he hasn’t done the Quest since.
Image at top: The 2005 Yukon Quest start in Whitehorse, Yukon. Photo from Dan Kaduce, creative commons.