The field has winnowed in the 2020 Yukon Quest 1,000-mile sled dog race. Citing the best interests of their respective dog teams, veteran mushers Jason Campeau and Denis Tremblay scratched this morning after spending the night in Circle City.
All thirteen mushers left in the Quest continue to race along the Yukon River towards the Canadian border, in between Circle and Eagle, with red lantern Olivia Webster the last to check out of Circle this morning at 9:37am with 11 on the line.
At the front of the pack, four teams are jockeying for first position. According to the Quest’s unofficial live tracker, as of 12pm, defending champion Brent Sass, last year’s fourth place finisher Michelle Phillips, Cody Strathe, and Allen Moore have all paused at the Trout Creek Hospitality Stop, approximately 45 miles out of the Eagle Checkpoint. In fifth position and hot on their heels is Ryne Olson who, according to the tracker, is traveling at a brisk clip of 6.3 mph.
Looking at the latter half of the pack, most mushers are either spread out along the Yukon River or resting at Slaven’s Roadhouse.
The temperature in Eagle is holding steady at -13, thanks to Southeasterly winds. Race rules require mushers to take at least four hours of rest at the checkpoint, before they begin the 3,420 ft ascent to the peak of American Summit.
Image at top: Musher outside Circle checkpoint during 2019 Yukon Quest. Photo from Yukon Quest, Julien Schroder, used with permission.