Michelle Phillips once again became the YQ300 champion Monday, arriving in Pelly Crossing at 11:25 pm to cheers from the crowd of volunteers.
Phillips, who won the YQ300 in 2013, didn't race last year on the Alaska side. She came back to run what turned out to be a very challenging trail in 2015, with jumble ice and extremely cold temperatures. Still, she was all smiles crossing the finish line, kissing her dogs and telling them how good of a job they did.
“You're winners!” she told them.
Phillips was running what she called her “B team”, since husband Ed Hopkins is using their veteran dog team in the 1,000 mile race. She said she had a good run from Stepping Stone, despite the cold weather. Her closest competitor in this year's race is the 2014 YQ300 champion, Aliy Zirkle, who was about 10 miles behind when Phillips arrived in Pelly.