That’s a wrap on the 2019 Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race, as the remainder of the field crossed the finish line throughout the day.
Deke Naaktgeboren and Jason Biasetti were the first arrivals of the day just before 08:00 AKST. Departing one-minute apart out and dueling all the way in from Two Rivers, Naaktgeboren managed to squeak by on the home stretch to cross the line just three minutes ahead of Biasetti and take sixteenth place.
Naaktgeboren said the checkpoints and hospitality stops were a highlight of his race. “Each one had its own little culture. The people of the Yukon Quest are unbelievable.” For Biasetti, it was watching his young dogs learn how to lead and adapt.
Next in almost an hour later was Quest veteran Andy Pace. Of the many memorable moments from his race experience this year, Pace singled out the leadership and cooperation of his traveling partners in getting over the summits, especially Rob Cooke for his guidance. “Hands down, one of the most commendable things I’ve seen,” said Pace.
Rob Cooke himself wasn’t far behind, hitting the line shortly after 10:00 AKST for nineteenth overall. Cooke reciprocated compliments to Pace, in particular his calm presence during their summit ordeal. For Cooke, this year’s Quest also represented an emotional farewell race for some of his team, who’ve run with him since 2011.
At 11:12 AKST, Curt Perano was cheered in by family and friends, including his six-year-old son. Perano praised his young team, remarking that they really stepped up whenever he seemed to need it most.
Twenty-first overall went to rookie Remy Leduc, crossing the line just after 13:30 AKST, greeted by his beaming wife and daughter. Remy enjoyed the run in from Two Rivers for its lack of summits after the challenge of Eagle and Rosebud, and said his young lead dog Max was a superstar throughout the race.
Rookies Laura Allaway and Isabelle Travadon came in four minutes apart not long after 15:00 AKST. Allaway’s advice to future Quest rookies was simply to “be prepared to want to do it again,” while Travadon spoke of the immense courage her dogs showed in tackling the summits.
Twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth went to Jim Lanier and Chase Tingle. Lanier, the 78 year-old rookie, said the Quest was everything it was supposed to be, and he doesn’t know why he waited this long to do it. Remarking on the camaraderie and cooperation during the Central Seven’s trials over the summits— which he called “No Joke Country”— Tingle described it as “whole other mindset of mushing.”
Misha Wiljes and Hendrik Stachnau were the final mushers to cross the line. While snacking her dogs for a job well done, Wiljes expressed her pride in their performance throughout the race. Strachnau, meanwhile, spoke of a reflective pause he took at sunset to savour his Quest experience.
Join us for Meet the Mushers tomorrow at 6 p.m. AKST at the LaQuinta Inn & Suites in Fairbanks. Meet the competitors from this year’s race, get your 2019 race poster signed, ask about favourite trail moments, and enjoy the camaraderie that mushers bring to this post-race soiree.
Final and current standings as of 11:59 p.m. AKST:
- Brent Sass - FINAL
- Hans Gatt - FINAL
- Allen Moore - FINAL
- Michelle Phillips - FINAL
- Matt Hall - FINAL
- Paige Drobny - FINAL
- Torsten Kohnert- FINAL
- Denis Tremblay - FINAL
- Jessie Royer - FINAL
- Nathaniel Hamlyn - FINAL
- Ryne Olson - FINAL
- Cody Strathe - FINAL
- Brian Wilmshurst – FINAL
- Martin Apayauq Reitan - FINAL
- Dave Dalton - FINAL
- Deke Naaktgeboren - FINAL
- Jason Biasetti - FINAL
- Andy Pace - FINAL
- Rob Cooke - FINAL
- Curt Perano - FINAL
- Remy Leduc - FINAL
- Laura Allaway - FINAL
- Isabelle Travadon - FINAL
- Jim Lanier - FINAL
- Chase Tingle - FINAL
- Misha Wiljes - FINAL
- Hendrik Stachnau - FINAL