9 days, 16 hours, and 5 minutes to race 1000 miles on a dog sled
February 14, 2012 7:03 PM   Subscribe

The Yukon Quest is a 1000 mile dog sled race that stretches from Fairbanks, Alaksa, to Whitehorse, Yukon. The 2012 race had the closest finish ever: the first and second place winners were separated by just 26 seconds.

Hugh Neff, the 2012 winner, was penalized 30 minutes for leaving his hand ax, a required piece of equipment, in Dawson City; despite the penalty, assessed at the last checkpoint, he was able to gain 42 minutes in the final stretch, overtaking the second place finisher, Alllen Moore, just 20 minutes from the finish line in Whitehorse.
posted by leahwrenn (4 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Video of the finish, plus an interview with Neff.
posted by leahwrenn at 7:27 PM on February 14, 2012

Long distance dog sledders are amazing, and their dogs are some of the most athletic animals in the world. I knew a fella that would do the Iditarod, as well as some other races, and when he conditioned his dogs, they were utter fiends for running. Those dogs LIVED to run in harness.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:06 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I got hooked on following the Iditarod the last couple of years. It's remarkable how close the top finishers can be after hundreds of miles of mushing. The whole team (dogs and man) are really remarkable. Reading on the musher's blogs, etc., it's clear that they really care for the animals, they're not just transport engines.
posted by Runes at 8:47 PM on February 14, 2012

I met Hugh and his dogs while I was on an Alaskan cruise a few years ago. A lot of the racers do runs for tourists -- the tourists act as necessary ballast for the dogs to pull and pay for the privilege which helps pay for them to keep racing. I sort of kept track of his career for a couple of years, so it's nice to hear he's seeing success.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:33 PM on February 15, 2012

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