Saturday, February 6, 2010

Yukon Quest Begins Today.......Yahoo!

Mushing is a part of me.  I don't/can't participate these days, but training and running sleddogs is never far from my thoughts.  I suppose some people get over hobbies and interests, but this is one I will never shake.  But then again, I don't try.  I love the sport.  And we are in the heart of racing season.  There are a few dryland fun events in the late fall.  The early season races get going in December in those regions with enough snow.  Things heat up in January.  But February and March is where the real muscle is.  Apologies to the very good races that run in January and April, but my favorites, The Yukon Quest, Anchorage Fur Rendezvous, Laconia World Championships, CanAm Crown, Iditarod and Open North American all fall in the Feb/March Window.

Don't get me wrong, there's no such thing as a 'bad' race in my book.  I remember some pretty sloshy, muddy messes back in Scotland and England, but I loved every single one.  Those listed are simply my favorites.

And today, the Yukon Quest begins.  24 teams are slated to leave Fairbanks, AK today with Whitehorse, Yukon Territory as their ultimate destination.  1000 miles of mountains to climb, frozen rivers to navigate and innumerable adventures along the way.  The Quest is a true test of fitness, strategy, stamina, speed and pure pig headedness.  It is not a race I was ever even slightly tempted to consider.  Those people are nuts!  And I love every one of them.

Several good books have been written about the Yukon Quest.  Two of my favorites are "Honest Dogs", by Brian Patrick O'donahue, and "Running North", by Ann Mariah Cook.

You can follow the Quest on the race's official website.  Let the games begin!