It was sweltering hot, in Melbourne today. Our backyard thermometer registered 47 degrees Celsius in mid afternoon, and this evening, it is still 29 degrees. So it is a little difficult to imagine what it must be like for mushers competing in the Yukon Quest this weekend.
Yukon Quest is a 1,000 mile sled dog race that starts in Whitehorse, in the Yukon Territory in Canada and finishes in Fairbanks, Alaska, in the US, making it a unique, international race. Since 1983, it has been run each February, following the Yukon river along the route used in the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890's.
Like in most North American sled dog races, the majority of the teams are made of Alaskan huskies, crossbreeds who may be part Siberian husky, part hound, part native dog breed, or any other combination. But this year, there are at least two teams of purebred Siberian huskies competing. Tony Angelo and Mike Ellis (Tsuga Siberians) are both running Sibe teams, and Mike is currently sitting happily in the top ten - yay!!! Some people might call them "slow-berians" but they are up there with the best.
Another thing I love about both snow and dry land sledding, is that gender becomes irrelevant. In both the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest, male and female mushers compete alongside each other, without handicaps or separate categories. When it comes to training, handling and driving dogs, gender doesn't matter. So it's great to see ladies like Mandy Nauman getting out there and racing alongside the men. Good luck Mandy!
Thankyou to Yukon Quest for the great Facebook page! Loving the updates and the great pics!