Two days after the 2023 Yukon Quest dog teams left Whitehorse, the field taking on the race’s longer two distances are approaching either their finish line or the last they’ll see of civilization before the final destination in Dawson City.
The race on the shortest of the Quest’s three distances, the 100-Mile race to Braeburn is at an end. Luc Tweddell was the first to finish, crossing the line at around 1 a.m. on Feb. 12, approximately 14 hours after the start of the race. Johnathan Lucas was hot on Tweddell’s heels finishing second with 15 minutes of the leader. Nate Metzen pulled in third followed by Debbie Knight and Janna-Lee Cushing.
En-route to Braeburn, 250-mile teams mushed by Aiyana O’Shaughnessy, Michael Burtnick and Craig Houghton swapped the lead. They were joined before too long by Jess Sears and Ilana Kingsley’s teams. O’Shaughnessy was the first to leave Braeburn early on Feb. 12 bound for Pelly Crossing. Each of the mushers rested their dogs around midday before arriving in Carmacks late. O’Shaughnessy was again the first one out and was trailed by Burtnick and Houghton.
As of 2 p.m.. O’Shaughnessy was the only 250-Mile musher at the finish line with Burtnick about 12 miles behind but in motion and Houghton was further back but through the McCabe Creek checkpoint. Sears was halfway between Carmacks and McCabe Creek while Kingsley had just left Carmacks.
The fastest in the 450-mile distance are expected to reach Dawson City in the early hours of Feb. 15.