Michelle Phillips and her team, led by Splash and Kale, cross the finish line of the 2019 Yukon Quest on Feb. 11 in Fairbanks, Alaska. Phillips finished fourth in the race, tying her best-ever finish. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Michelle Phillips is fourth in the 2019 Yukon Quest

Phillips is the second Yukoner to complete the race

Michelle Phillips finished fourth in the 2019 Yukon Quest, reaching the finish line in Fairbanks, Alaska, at 4:47 p.m. local time on Feb. 11 with lead dogs Splash and Kale out in front.

Phillips is the second Yukoner to finish this year’s race. Hans Gatt was second.

This was the first time Phillips raced the 1,000-mile — 1,600-kilometre — route since 2011.

“It was great,” said Phillips. “I had a lot of memories out on the trail.”

Phillips said that while not all of her dogs are Yukon Quest veterans, all of her dogs had 1,000-mile race experience, and that the weather over the last two mountain summits — Eagle and Rosebud — wasn’t too bad.

“I had some wind on Eagle and a little bit of wind on Rosebud, but no blizzard,” said Phillips, later adding that the weather for the entire race was good to run in.

“The weather was really nice that it warmed up for sure. Overall, once it warmed up, it was great.”

Phillips said the entire Quest race experience was something she appreciated after years of only running the Iditarod.

“I really appreciated how much more intimate it was and just (how) caring … people are and the hospitality of all the people,” said Phillips. “I really appreciate all that. And yes, the Quest is definitely tough. You definitely feel like you’ve gone 1,000 miles when you finish it.”

Asked what she was planning to do with the race over, Phillips said a hot bath was number one on her list.

This was the seventh Quest for Phillips and tied her best-ever result which she earned in 2008.

Brent Sass is this year’s winner, having crossed the finish line at 12:40 p.m. He was followed by Gatt at 2:20 p.m. and Allen Moore at 3:30 p.m.

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

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