Day 12 saw three more mushers cross the finish line, with two more enroute, and the remainder steadily swallowing up trail miles with the end in sight.
Third place belongs to Cody Strathe, his team of nine arriving at 7:35am PST. Capturing third marks Strathe’s fourth and highest Quest finish. The Cantwell, AK musher said his goal had simply been to finish top five with the dogs healthy and happy. Strathe said his trail memories this year were of mostly of “wind and snow and lots of trailbreaking, but the dogs did really well.”
“There were moments of thinking I’d never do it again, and moments when I was already signing up for next year,” Strathe joked.
Three-time Quest champion and perennial frontrunner Allen Moore crossed the line at 1:20pm PST with his team of 12 dogs, good enough for fourth place. After so many close finishes in his Quest career, Moore said it was a nice change to be able to relax and enjoy the last leg. Moore joked that he wasn’t trying to catch Strathe, just stay close enough to make him nervous. “I knew he would not get much sleep [last night].” He also kidded about being punished for his sportsmanship after retrieving a bag that had fallen off Strathe’s sled, saying the bag just seemed to get heavier and was obviously a Squid Acres race strategy.
Moore, too, commented on the wind and snow experienced in the race’s second half. “Seems like Mother Nature always wants to show us who’s boss at end of the race.” Asked to describe the feeling of finishing 1,000 miles, Moore quipped that it felt like 10,000.
Quest veteran Torsten Kohnert took fifth place, arriving in Whitehorse at 9:01 pm PST. Kohnert said his sixth Quest finish was “all about wind, snow and trailbreaking,” but said he falls in love with the race a little more each time. Asked for his race highlights, Kohnert pointed to the moonlit run out of Dawson and the Black Hills.
Ryne Olson is the next musher expected in. She left Braeburn shortly after 8am PST with ten on the line. By day’s end she is poised to take sixth place some 15 miles from the finish.
Further back, Nora Själin reached Braeburn shortly after 3pm PST to start the clock on her 8-hour layover. Richie Beattie joined her at 9:35pm PST. Själin departed close to midnight with 10 dogs. Beattie is eligible to leave for the finish line at 5:35am PST.
Rob Cooke and Pat Noddin are camped on the way to Braeburn, at 21 and 35 miles, respectively, and current red lantern Olivia Webster left Pelly shortly before 11am and is presently within 20 miles of Carmacks.
Join us for tomorrow’s arrivals at the Whitehorse finish line located at Shipyards Park.
Standings as of 12:00am PST:
- Brent Sass - FINAL
- Michelle Phillips - FINAL
- Cody Strathe - FINAL
- Allen Moore - FINAL
- Torsten Kohnert - FINAL
- Ryne Olson
- Nora Själin
- Richie Beattie
- Rob Cooke
- Pat Noddin
- Olivia Webster