The annual event kicking off sign-up for 2023’s Yukon Quest dog sled races took place in downtown Whitehorse on Aug. 6.
Barkfest served as the sign up kickoff for the Quest and 13 mushers are set to go for the February 2023 races.
The 2023 Yukon Quest will feature 450-, 250- and 100-mile races on the Canadian side of the border. A breakdown in cooperation between Yukon and Alaskan organizers earlier this year halted the race’s usual cross-border format. The 450 miler will conclude in Dawson City with the shorter races wrapping in Pelly Crossing and Braeburn.
Four mushers signed up for the 450: Louve Tweddell, Connor McMahon, Normand Casavant and Michelle Phillips.
Ilana Kingsley, Nathaniel Hamlyn, Michael Burtnick and Nicolas Cardona will run the 250-mile race.
The field so far for the 100-mile is: Benjamin Boucher Simard, Amelie Janin, Jonathan Lucas, Debbie Knight and Lori Tweddell.
Entry into the race will remain open until the afternoon of Feb. 4.
Barkfest featured a canicross race hosted by the Quest’s organizers and the Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon. Canicross is cross country running while harnessed to dogs. Seven racers competed in the canicross, four of them had just registered for the Quest this coming winter and they took the earliest opportunity to run their dogs in the event.
Along with kicking off the sign-ups for the 2023 Quest, Barkfest served as a fundraiser for the race, attracting more than 100 people throughout the day for a barbecue and sale of Quest merchandise.
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