There will be a lot of familiar faces behind the scenes of the 2014 Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race.
The 2014 Race Team includes three returning members. Doug Grilliot will once again lead the team as Race Marshal while Dr. Kathleen McGill is back for her fifth year as Head Veterinarian and Alex Olesen returns as Race Manager.
Grilliot, a resident of Willow, Alaska, previously held the position of Race Marshal for the 2008, 2009 and 2013 races.
“I am grateful to once again be chosen as the Race Marshal for the 2014 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race,” said Grilliot. “Last year’s Yukon Quest was one of the most successful in recent memory, and I look forward to working with everyone on the race team, as well as mushers, staff, veterinarians, and volunteers, in continuing to raise the bar.”
Dr. McGill has been caring for the stars of the YQ – the dogs – for 12 years. She currently resides in Gahanna, Ohio, and has volunteered her time as a veterinarian for numerous other sled dog races, including the Iditarod.
Olesen was also Race Manager in 2013 and 2007, and has been an Assistant Race Manager for both the Yukon and Alaska.
There will be one new face on the Race Team. Gaetan Pierrard has been hired as Assistant Race Manager. A former Yukon Quest handler and checkpoint volunteer for several years, Pierrard ran the Quest 300 in 2013. He hopes to attempt the 1,000 mile race in the future.
Familiar and new faces can also be found at the Yukon Quest office in Fairbanks. Marti Steury, Executive Director of the Yukon Quest – Alaska, will stay on for the 2014 race. Steury previously indicated plans to move on to new adventures, but her passion for the race has kept her at the helm.
“I am very excited to remain with the Yukon Quest for another year, especially when we have such a strong race team in place,” said Steury. “Doug and Kathleen bring a wealth of experience to the team in two key positions. Having Alex’s previous knowledge in this position, along with Gaetan’s familiarity of well-run checkpoints, will help ensure logistics run smoothly.”
Linda Green joined the Fairbanks office as Operations Manager in June and will be working in partnership with the Yukon side on race logistics. Green previously worked for Tanana Valley Television and Radio, where she developed her love of the Yukon Quest, both reporting and volunteering for the past two years.
The 2014 Yukon Quest starts Saturday, February 1st in Fairbanks, Alaska.