The Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race - biggest long-distance race of
the year in Fairbanks.
[Yukon Quest 2000
Poster is by Illinois artist Susan T. Patton, whose family lives in
Fairbanks. T-shirts and other items with it
available at the Yukon Quest Store]
This over 1,000 mile race generally alternates directions each year between
Fairbanks and Whitehorse, Canada (even numbered years leaving from Fairbanks, odd years
However, in 1998, the race went in the same direction as in 1997,
starting in Whitehorse and finishing in Fairbanks approximately 10 to 12 days later. The
direction, from Canada-to-Alaska, was chosen to commemorate the 1898 Gold Rush. In 1999
and 2000, 2002, and 2004 the race began in Fairbanks. The first race was in
February of 1984 when 26 teams competed. Click hyperlink to go to information on
the current year's race.
The Yukon Quest sells tickets to a raffle (prize, $10,000 in 2000).
In 2004, the purse
for the race itself was $125,000 to be shared by the top 15 finishers ($30,000 for the
Mushers begin racing with as many as 14
dogs. The Yukon Quest has been called the "toughest race on
earth," due to its rugged terrain and long distances between checkpoints. Much of the
race follows the Yukon River, still frozen in February when the race is run. The record
time of 10 days, 16 hours and 20 minutes was set in 1995
In 2000 there were 2 additional races added. The Yukon Quest
sponsored the Yukon 250 at 4
P.M. the same day. This race from Fairbanks to Circle City
served primarily as a
qualifier race for the Yukon Quest, and the Iditarod, which is always held the
first Saturday in March. The trail took mushers over the scenic Eagle and Rosebud
Summits. The very next day, the Yukon Quest sponsored the Junior Yukon Quest for
mushers ages 14-17. It was a long distance race of 120
miles to Chena Hot Springs Resort. In 2005, the 250 was lengthened
to 300 miles, and became known as the Yukon Quest 300.
You can learn more about the races and perhaps even visit with a musher, at the
Yukon Quest Trading Co. store on Fifth and Cushman Street in
downtown Fairbanks. They have their
own web page where they post times for the various checkpoints.
You can also e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (907)
452-7954, or fax (907) 452-7959.
GENERAL RACE PROCEDURE (from their web site)
1. Race Start:
The race will be held as scheduled, regardless of weather conditions. Each
year the starting date and time will be determined by YQI. For safety
reasons, changes to this rule may be made by the Race Marshal with
approval from the YQI Rules Committee.
2. Entry Fee, Dates, Limits:
of the entry fee, completed application form, completed driver's
biography, and driver photo will constitute the driver's intent to enter
the race, and further acknowledges that the driver understands and agrees
to comply with each and every rule as stated. YQI reserves the right
to reject any entry. Entries are determined on a first-come, first-served
basis. Entries close at midnight local time December 31, 2000. Certified
postmarked entries by this date will be accepted. The maximum number of
teams for the race is fifty (50). Once the maximum of fifty is reached, a
waiting list will be established, again on a first-come, first-served
basis. To qualify for the waiting list, the official entry form must be
completed, and a $25.00 non-refundable fee paid. If a driver withdraws
from the list of fifty, the name at the top of the waiting list will be
moved up to the entry list, upon receipt of the rest of the required fees.
The entry fee will be the fee applicable on the date the wait-list deposit
is posted with YQI. The slot will be held open for no more than seven
(7) days after notification. Entry fees including food drop,
membership, and race entry in 2001 were as follows:
July/August $1,000 - September/October $1,200 - November/December
(All Dollar amounts are in U.S, currency)
For more information, visit