WHITEHORSE – An Alaskan musher has won his third title in the 35th Yukon Quest international dog sled race.
Allen Moore of Two Rivers, Alaska, crossed the finish line in Whitehorse on Tuesday morning with a time of nine days, 18 hours and 53 minutes.
The 60-year-old musher finished the more than 1,600-kilometre race with a full team of 14 dogs.
Moore has competed in the event eight times. His victories in 2013 and 2014 marked the two quickest finishing times in Quest history.
This year’s finish was just outside the top 10 in speed, but with brutal cold conditions throughout the race, Moore said it was good enough for the top spot.
“This one wasn’t that difficult other than the temperatures,” Moore said. “The trail was great. The only thing you had to deal with was the cold.”
Moore said his dogs Commando and Dutch stayed in the lead position for 90 per cent of the race, pacing the way to his victory.
“Not many people have arrived at the finish chute in any position with 14 dogs, and if I knew the answer how to do that every time, I would be doing it,” he said.
The dogs won’t get much of a break after the impressive trek.
Moore said his wife Aliy Zirkle will be competing with the team in Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 3.
“I just got them in shape for her a little bit,” he said.
Despite having won multiple titles, Moore said he isn’t ready to step away from the race.
“Winning is always good,” he said. “I’ll come back next year and try for four.”
Moore wins just over US$23,000 for his share of the purse, and because he was first to make it to Dawson City and finished the race, he’ll also get two ounces of Klondike Placer gold.
This year’s race started in Fairbanks, Alaska, on Feb. 3.
(Whitehorse Star, CKRW)