Mixed Emotions at 2023 Yukon Quest Sign-Up Barkfest Pipa News

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At the top of the world, in the Yukon wilderness, every February holds an epic winter sporting event: the Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race.

For Ilana Kingsley, watching the races became a family tradition.

“I’ve been following the quest since [my husband and I] lived in Fairbanks, Alaska in 2003,” she said.

Earlier this year, after nearly 40 years of union, the race’s two governing boards – one in Alaska, one in the Yukon – said they would no longer work with each other, meaning the race would no longer be a part of both countries. will not cross the boundary.

Librarian by day, mushroom by night, Kingsley has been walking dogs for nearly 30 years. (CC de Flavis/CBC)

“It’s really sad for both the countries to decide they don’t want to play together. I think it’s unfortunate for Musharrao,” Kingsley said.

Librarian by day, musher by night, Kingsley has been running dogs for nearly 30 years, including in Yukon Quest.

On Saturday, at the 2023 Musher Sign-Up Barkfest event, she registered for next year’s YQ 250 race.

Next year, Yukon Quest will run three races between Whitehorse and Dawson City instead of crossing the Alaska border. Yukon Quest will begin in Whitehorse on February 11, 2023. (CC de Flavis/CBC)

“I expect the boards for Masher to come together and have another Quest 1000 at some point,” Kingsley said, endorsing the extended rest time for the dogs which was one of the major points of contention between the boards.

During Saturday’s event, located between the Old Fire Hall and the Yukon Quest office, families and spectators enjoyed sunny weather, a fundraising barbecue and a dry land race, while aspiring mushers signed up for the race. .

During the three-hour festivities, families, mushers and Whitehorse residents got to enjoy sunny weather, barbecues, and a dry land run where dogs and dogs ran along the Yukon River. (CC de Flavis/CBC)

Conor McMann, soon to be a three-time Yukon Quest racer, also signed up for the in-person event. He said he doesn’t mind the board’s divorce as shorter distances may prompt more people to sign up.

“I think it’s exciting. It gives some other mushers a bunch of opportunities to get into their comfort zones and experience some long distance and work or push them,” he said.

“I’m very excited about the finish line being in Dawson.”

In 2023, the race will cover a distance of 550 miles between Whitehorse and Dawson City, Yukon. It will be divided into three races through four communities in the Yukon, following the historic Northern Tour routes.

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