Crystal Schick/Yukon News Top Canadian finisher Ed Hopkins stretches after crossing the finish line in Whitehorse just before 1 a.m. on Feb. 14.

Hopkins finishes as top Canadian in Yukon Quest

Allen Moore celebrates third Quest win

American Allen Moore won the Yukon Quest on Feb. 13, crossing the finish line at Shipyards Park at 7:59 a.m.

Moore said snow late in the race slowed his team.

“The trail up until yesterday was fantastic. We got this two or three inches of snow — just made it a little bit slower — but we chugged right along.”

This was the third time Moore has won the Quest, putting him behind only four-time winners Lance Mackey and Hans Gatt in all-time wins.

Moore led most of the race, and reached the finish line with a full compliment of 14 dogs.

“Not many people have arrived at the finish chute in any position with 14 dogs,” said Moore. “If I knew the answer how to do that every time, I would be doing it.”

Moore said that other than the temperatures, conditions weren’t as difficult as years past.

“The only thing you had to deal with was the cold. If you could deal with that, you were good,” said Moore.

Temperatures dipped well below -40 C, but Moore said he didn’t carry a thermometer.

“I didn’t have a thermometer so I don’t really know,” said Moore. “I probably wouldn’t even want to carry a thermometer. I don’t want to know.”

Matt Hall was next across the line, finishing the race at 2:42 p.m.

Laura Neese finished third, arriving just more than two hours after Hall at 4:45 p.m.

American Vebjorn Aishana Reitan was the Rookie of the Year after finishing in fourth place at 8:23 p.m.

Ed Hopkins from 10 Mile was the top Canadian and reached the finish line just before 1 a.m. on Feb. 14.

This was the ninth time Hopkins has completed the Quest and his third fifth-place finish in a row.

Asked what it felt like to run Lake Laberge again, Hopkins said this was only the third time he’s taken that route.

“Same as it always was, I guess,” said Hopkins. “You could see where it could get really nasty.”

Hopkins said his team had no trouble adjusting to the warmer weather near the end of the race.

“They’re embracing the warm weather; they’ve no problem with that,” said Hopkins with a laugh. “The dogs are happier.”

As of 9 a.m. on Feb. 14, nine mushers remain on the trail between Carmacks and Whitehorse, including two Canadians — Luc Tweddell and Nathaniel Hamlyn.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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