Sign-up day for the 2022 Yukon Quest will open on Aug. 21.
After cancelling the 2021 race because of COVID-19 concerns, the 2022 race will be returning with a different look and feel.
In June, it was announced the 39th running of the Yukon Quest international dog sled race will be two races instead of one next year — one in Canada and one in Alaska.
That has changed slightly, on the Yukon side of the border, mushers have the opportunity to sign up for either a 300- or 100-mile race. In Alaska, there is a 550-mile option along with a 200-mile race.
Bonnie Michaudville, the Quest’s executive director in Whitehorse, said there’s growing anticipation ahead of registration.
“I think everybody is just excited that there’s going to be races and then with the cup, that is another exciting component to it,” said Michaudville.
The cup? The Yukon Quest is introducing the Yukon Quest 2022 Cup which has a guaranteed minimum purse of $5,000. Mushers who finish a race in the Yukon and Alaska will be eligible to win the cup.
“We wanted to stay joined because Alaska and Yukon, we are still one organization,” said Michaudville. “This really keeps us join together even though we are both putting on races on either side of the border.”
To be eligible to win the cup, Michaudville said they have to do a race in the Yukon and Alaska — it doesn’t matter which combination of distances the musher completes.
Mushers will receive points and the point structure, Michaudville said, will be released later in the week.
Michaudville said the mushers have been pleased about the introduction of the Yukon Quest Cup.
“Everybody’s excited, the mushers that have talked to us about it are excited,” said Michaudville. “And then you tell them about the cup purse, it’s extra money on the line.
“They’re really excited and already planning their logistics for running on both sides.”
Michaudville said the cup gives mushers extra incentive to cross the border and do two Quest races.
“We will knock on some wood that they’ll be able to do that,” Michaudville added, hoping that the COVID-19 situation doesn’t worsen.
On the Yukon side, the 300-mile race has a guaranteed minimum purse of $35,000. The top 10 mushers will get a percentage of the purse.
The 100-mile race’s guaranteed minimum purse is $5,000 and will be distributed to the top five mushers.
In Alaska, the purses are to be determined. The 200-mile race’s purse will be based on entry fees.
Mushers who race on either side of the border can earn prize money from each race they do and also have the chance to earn cash from the cup purse.
Contact John Tonin at email@example.com