Allen Moore has been patient since the start of this year’s Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile Sled Dog Race, executing his race plan and waiting for the opportunity to take the lead.
That opportunity came Sunday evening, as Moore jumped ahead of race leader Brent Sass after a strong run over Eagle Summit. Sass, who at one point held a 10-hour lead, saw his lead dwindle to two hours when he overslept on the trail from Circle to Central.
After both mushers rested in Central, Sass began the climb up Eagle Summit two hours ahead. He made good time, arriving at 8:15pm, but stopped for a break in Mile 101. He called the last run the hardest time he's ever had coming over Eagle Summit.
Talking to the media in Mile 101, Sass said he was more worried about Moore when he was 10 hours back, as opposed to two hours.
“I can’t really worry about Allen’s race anymore,” he said. “I need to worry about mine.”
It wasn’t long after that Sass watched Moore arrive and blow through to take the lead. Stating that Eagle Summit was the best he's ever seen, Moore stopped only to snack the dogs, get into the drop bags, and find some dry clothes. He left at 10:26pm.
Now, the race is on as both mushers hit the trail to Two Rivers. There they will serve their last mandatory layover, at eight hours. It’s 45 miles from Two Rivers to the finish line in Fairbanks.
Moore is running with 13 dogs while Sass has 12.
Tedford Maintains Position in the Top Five
Damon Tedford is currently the top rookie in this year’s Yukon Quest. He pulled into Circle in fifth place Sunday, arriving at 6:53pm with 12 dogs.
Tedford said he's tired and looking forward to the six hours of rest. He also talked about the need to put jackets back on his dogs during the last run.
"What is with this weather, man?" he said to his handler while bedding down his dogs. "It was so nice in Slaven’s (Roadhouse)."
Tedford is running more than 14 hours behind Ed Hopkins and Hugh Neff. Hopkins was closing in on Central as of midnight while Neff was approximately 15 miles behind him.
The closest musher behind Tedford is Normand Casavant, who showed up in Circle over four hours later, at 11:20 pm. Casavant was in very good spirits when he arrived, laughing as he bedded down his team of nine dogs, and telling a race official that, "Everything is perfect!"
The next musher into Circle is expected to be Torsten Kohnert, who was about 10 miles out, while Jason Campeau was nine miles behind him. Mike Ellis and Dave Dalton were also on their way to Circle from Slaven's Road House. Brian Wilmshurst and Nicolas Vanier are resting at the dog drop.
Ryne Olson was on her way to Slaven's from the Trout Creek hospitality stop; about 18 miles out, while Lance Mackey and Kristin Knight Pace were also making their move to Slaven’s. Rob Cooke was just under 30 miles from Trout Creek, after leaving Eagle Sunday evening.