Rookie Vebjorn Aishana Reitan of Kaktovik, Alaska was the final musher to make the December 1st deadline to sign up for the Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race.
A total of 28 mushers have signed up with an intention to run in the 2018 race making it the largest field since 2009. Fans will see 15 veterans and 13 rookies at the start line in Fairbanks from countries including the United States, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden. Among them will be reigning champion Matt Hall and past champions Allen Moore and Hugh Neff.
On Wednesday, the names of all mushers who met the deadline were put into a draw to win the last of three registration incentive prizes – 500 dog booties from Cold Spot for Healthy Pets in Alaska. Veteran Ed Hopkins was the recipient of this draw and will receive the booties at the Start Banquet in Fairbanks, along with the winners of the Opening Day draw, a reimbursement of the entry fee (a $1,300 USD cheque), rookie Jennifer Campeau, and the second incentive draw of a parka from Apocalypse Design, veteran Dave Dalton.
The YQ300 has a full field of 25 mushers with three still on the waiting list. Mushers include past YQ300 champions Aliy Zirkle, Michelle Phillips, and Gerry Willomitzer, as well as other notable Yukon Quest 1,000 mile veterans Cody Strathe, Mandy Nauman Austin, Ben Good, and Matthew Failor.
Late entries for the 2018 race will be accepted until January 5, 2018 for an additional fee.