Nathaniel Hamlyn took first place in the Yukon Quest’s 100-mile race this weekend.
Hamlyn, of Step Up Kennels, arrived at the finish line with his team in Braeburn at 5:39 a.m. on Sunday morning.
“It was a typical Quest — a bit of everything,” says Hamlyn. “You never know what to expect out there. We had some soft trail, some water, some crazy turns. Basically, exciting, to sum it up,” he said in a clip posted by the Quest organizers.
This is Hamlyn’s fourth time running in the Yukon Quest. He ran the 300-mile in 2017, and the 1000-mile in 2018 and 2019.
“I was impressed by them,” he said of his him. “I had three dogs that had never done a race before that involved a camp, so it was their first real experience that involved a double run. They did so well. They wanted to keep going at the end of the race, which is really a good sign.”
Teams competing in both the short 100-mile race and long 300-mile race left Whitehorse on Saturday afternoon. The short race ended in Braeburn, while the long race teams will carry on to Mandanna Lake before turning around to finish in Whitehorse.
Martine Le Levier and her team finished second in the short race, arriving close behind Hamlyn at Braeburn at 5:41 a.m.
“[The race] was great. It was a nice trail, it was fun,” said Martine. “There were a lot of people to pass. We never felt lonely. We had the 300 [race]. We had a very nice musher who helped me to pass him. It was very nice. There was a little bit of swim on the river, but that’s good.”
“I didn’t have a big training with the dogs. I didn’t run more than 35 miles before coming here, so they did very good. A bit tired, but they’re in good shape the vet said, so I’m very happy about that,” she said.
Ilana Kingsley finished in third place, arriving at 9:01 a.m., followed by twin sisters Louve and Lori Tweddell in fourth and fifth at 9:04 a.m. and 9:06 a.m.
This year’s race had fairly warm temperatures on the first day of racing. Teams had to deal with a narrow trail, deep snow and some overflow on the rivers.
The teams competing in the 300-mile race are expected to return to Whitehorse early Tuesday morning.