The Yukon Quest has found a new race marshal to replace Joe May, who quit a few weeks ago.
With just over two weeks until the start of the race, Doug Grilliot has been appointed as the new marshal.
Grilliot comes to the race-marshal role with a wide variety of sled dog racing and judging experience. He is a two-time Yukon Quest finisher (2001, 2002) and completed the Iditarod in 2004.
Grilliot has been a Yukon Quest race judge for the past two years and was preparing to judge this year’s race before accepting the position of race marshal.
The marshal is in charge of all aspects of the race, makes certain that all race rules are followed, and ensures the safety and well being of the dogs and mushers.
“It’s an honour to be asked to serve as race marshal,” said Grilliot, in a release.
“Obviously the resignation of Joe May is unfortunate, however, I have had the benefit of working closely with him and the Yukon Quest staff over the past few months preparing for the upcoming race.
“I’m convinced we will all make Joe proud of how the 2008 Yukon Quest is run.
“The marshal’s role is critically important, however the entire race and in fact the entire organization is built on teamwork and my approach is to keep our excellent team of volunteers, contractors and staff working together to support all the mushers and their dogs to ensure the best race possible for the 25th running of the Yukon Quest.”
“Doug’s deep understanding of the Yukon Quest from a musher’s, board member’s and race judge’s perspective is an excellent asset … we are fortunate that he has stepped up to accept this challenging role for our organization,” said Tania Simpson, Yukon Quest managing director in the release.
Twenty seven teams are registered to start the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race on Saturday, February 9 in Fairbanks.
Fifty-nine mushers and skijorers harnessed their hounds for the 14th annual Carbon Hill Sled Dog Race on Saturday at the Mount Lorne Community Centre.
Crispin Studer had the fastest team in the 48-kilometre dog sled race around Annie Lake, finishing with a time of 2:23:19, Blaine Walden finished two-and-a-half minutes later, and former Yukon Quest champ Hans Gatt placed third.
In the 48-kilometre skijor race, Darryl Sheepway and his four dogs had the top spot with a time of 2:56:27.
Kendra Murray won the 10-kilometre skijor in a time of 23:13, and Justin MacDougal won the three-kilometre junior sled race in 7:10.
48-kilometre sled (6-8 dogs)
1st Crispin Studer, 2:23:19
2nd Blaine Walden, 2:25:46
3rd Hans Gatt, 2:27:24
4th Luc Tweddell, 2:28:04
5th Ed Hopkins, 2:35:40
6th Martine LeLevier, 2:36:47
48-kilometre skijor (2-4 dogs)
1st Darryl Sheepway, 2:56:27
2nd Nansen Murray, 3:01:52
3rd Susie Rogan, 3:07:38
4th Linda Lewis, 4:18:10
16-kilometre sled (4-6 dogs)
1st Jonathan Lucas, 36:27
2nd Aileena Reukenbach, 37:28
3rd Cheryl Wishart, 37:44
10-kilometre skijor (1-2 dogs)
1st Kendra Murray, 23:13
2nd Karen McKenna, 23:23
3rd Jonathan Lucas, 23:45
4th Heather Swystun, 26:54
5th Maggie Brook, 28:23
1st Christine Curtis, 53:33
3-kilometre sled (2-3 dogs)
1st Justin MacDougal, 7:10
2nd Larissa Rueckenbach, 12:16
3rd Haley McKeown, 18:51
4th Keegan Hopkins,
5th Fionnuola Marion,
200-metre kids’ sled (1 dog)
1st Abby Cruikshank, 1:07
2nd Harley McKeown, 1:32
3rd Maible Matrishon, 1:40
Yukon Ski Team member Colin Abbott set a smoking pace as he skied to a first-place finish in the men’s 15-kilometre freestyle on Saturday, part of the Subway Race series at Mount McIntyre. Abbott completed three five-kilometre laps in less than 15 minutes per lap.
It was a good time considering the snow conditions were cold and slow for a skating-style race.
Jeff Wood had the fastest lap of all skiers (14:32.5) and won the men’s five-kilometre category. Janelle Greer was the fastest woman in the five-kilometre in 17:17.5, but Brittany Smith was only half a second behind.
Forty-two skiers left the stadium in a mass start under a beautiful sunny sky and a cool minus-16 Celsius.
Younger skiers completed a 2.5-kilometre loop. Caelen McLean took the boys’ category, followed by new teammate Gavin Verloet. Morgan Paul was the fastest girl, who finished less than a minute ahead of Moya Painter.
Lee Hawkings took the men’s 10-kilometre category in 31:23, while Yukon Ski Team coach Sara Nielsen was the fastest woman on the 10-kilometre, posting a time of 40:15.2.
The next Subway Race will be a duathlon-style event on Saturday, February 2.
The registration deadline will be Friday, February 1. The final Subway 5K race of the season will be a relay on Wednesday, March 19, at 6 p.m.