Day 3: Circle to Slaven’s

Monday, February 5, 2018

Circle checkpoint greeted the Quest’s top three in the wee hours of the morning, Allen Moore arriving just after 2am AKST, followed forty minutes later by Matt Hall, and Paige Drobny fifteen minutes after that. By the time the top three departed for Eagle, Laura Neese, Ed Hopkins, Hugh Neff, Torsten Kohnert, Vebjorn Aishana Reitan and Luc Tweddell had all arrived in Circle.

The remainder of the pack would arrive over the course of the day, with all competitors choosing to give themselves and their teams a healthy rest after navigating the frigid Birch Creek, and with the daunting American Summit looming ahead.

By day’s end, Moore was 20 miles out from the Trout Creek hospitality stop, with Paige Drobny ten miles behind him, and Matt Hall having just departed Slaven’s. At the back of the pack Jennifer Campeau and Christine Roalofs were resting at Circle, while the rest of the mushers were either taking a break at Slaven’s or making their way toward it.

There were four scratches today: Katherine Keith in Circle with a broken wrist; Mark Stamm in Central for the health and well-being of his team; and Ike Underwood outside of Circle for the safety and health of he and his team.

Day 3 also brought with it a champion of the YQ300. Ben Good, who was second into Circle, managed to catch up to Joanna Jagow and stay just ahead of her until the finish, beating her to the line by just two minutes, for a total time of 54 hours 3 minutes. Good attributed the unexpected win to having tested the team’s endurance in the Copper Basin 300 and some plain old good luck, saying he was only trying for a top-five finish. Second place Joanna Jagow said she had trouble after having to drop her two favoured lead dogs in Circle, replacing them with a single lead who got distracted when passing the oncoming 300 competitors on the return run to Central. Good passing her was actually helpful to get the dog refocused, Jagow said, but she just couldn’t catch him. Third place went to Richie Beattie, who finished with a time of 56 hours 33 minutes.

Standings for the 1,000-mile race as of 11:59pm:

  1. Allen Moore
  2. Paige Drobny
  3. Matt Hall
  4. Laura Neese
  5. Ed Hopkins
  6. Hugh Neff
  7. Vebjorn Aishana Reitan
  8. Torsten Kohnert
  9. Jason Campeau
  10. Luc Tweddell
  11. Nathaniel Hamlyn
  12. Severin Cathry
  13. Tim Pappas
  14. Riley Dyche
  15. Bernhard Schuchert
  16. Claudia Wickert
  17. Alex Buetow
  18. Rob Cooke
  19. Dave Dalton
  20. Jennifer Campeau
  21. Christine Roalofs