A 77-Mile Sunday

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Quest’s super Sunday was already in full swing shortly after 1AM as Brent Sass, Allen Moore, birthday girl Paige Drobny, Katherine Keith and Matt Hall all poured into the Braeburn checkpoint.

Sass and Moore stopped only for a vet check and drop bags, a strategy also employed by Canadian musher Brian Wilmshurst when he hit the checkpoint an hour later. Front runner Hugh Neff departed for Carmacks a little after 3AM after serving his mandatory four-hours, followed by Katherine Keith and Yuka Honda two hours later. Laura Neese and Ed Stielstra were the last to reach Braeburn, checking in for their four-hour rest just after 4AM.

Neff caught up to the camped Sass just before 6AM and kept up his brisk pace all the way to Carmacks, arriving at 12:30PM, nearly a full hour before Sass, and an hour and a half before Allen Moore and Ed Hopkins, who paced each other for much of the way over. Matt Hall arrived fifth a little after 3PM.

Defending champion Neff headed out for McCabe at twenty after four and reached his target at 9:30PM. Rookie Katherine Keith was in Carmacks for barely ten minutes to drop a dog and plunder her drop bags, a bold move that paid off as she reached McCabe in second at approximately 11PM. Neff then departed McCabe around 11:30PM.

After serving their mandatory four-hours Sass pulled out of Carmacks at 6:20pm, Moore ten minutes later, and Wilmshurst left just before 11PM. Sass and Moore reached McCabe Creek within 20 minutes of each other shortly after 11PM.

Currently at the back of the pack are traveling companions Laura Neese and Ed Stielstra, roughly 10 miles out from Carmacks, with Hank Debruin bringing up the rear, camped 37 miles from the checkpoint. 

Standings as of 11:59pm:

1. Hugh Neff
2. Katherine Keith
3. Brent Sass
4. Allen Moore
5. Ed Hopkins
6. Matt Hall
7. Paige Drobny
8. Ryne Olson
9. Brian Wilmshurst
10. Torsten Kohnert 
11. Yuka Honda
12. Dave Dalton
13. Gaetan Pierrard
14. Rob Cooke
15. Sébastien Dos Santos Borges
16. Ben Good
17. Jessie Royer
18. Jason Campeau
19. Laura Neese
20. Ed Stielstra
21. Hank DeBruin