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YQ 300 2013

Four hours after the first team left on the Quest another group queued up to start their own race – the intermediate distance Yukon Quest 300 that will follow the same trail, but end at Pelly Crossing. To qualify for the 1000-mile Quest or Iditarod you have to prove your team’s competence by completing intermediate distance races, like the YQ 300.

This year’s contestants include some familiar names:

1 Tamra Reynolds (51)
2 Colin Morrison (52)
3 Yuka Honda (53)
4 Marcelle Fressineau (54)
5 Jerry Joinson (55)
6 Aliy Zirkle (56)
7 John King (57)
8 Michelle Phillips (58)
9 Olaf Thurau (59)
10 Gaetan Pierrard (60)
11 Debbie Knight (61)
12 Jonathan Lucas (62)
13 Jennifer Levy (63)
14 Paige Drobny (65)
15 Ryne Olson (66)
16 Kyia Bouchard (67)
17 Lucy Tyrrell (68)

Aliy Zirkle is the only woman to win the Quest, but now her husband, Allen Moore runs the Quest, while she checks out dogs who might be on her Iditarod team. Last year Allen finished 26 seconds behind Hugh Neff, so he really wants it.

Yuka Honda finished her first Quest last year [as did Marcelle Fressineau and Paige Drobny], but she wants nothing to do with the Quest on odd years after her day and a half climb over Eagle Summit in 2009.

Bib 64 is missing because vets didn’t like the condition of David Mason’s dogs and he had to scratch at the starting gate. No one has said what the problem was, but I would suspect coughing on the team. This is a problem when the temperature warms up. People don’t get colds at -40° because the viruses die at those temperatures. When things warm up a bit people and dogs get sick.

Updates on the 300 are slow in coming. It should take 3 days or less to complete, but there are no guarantees.