Another eventful day out at Takhini as five of the remaining six mushers made it across the finish line.
Day 13 action began with the arrival of Paige Drobny, Cody Strathe, and Andrew Pace, taking 14th, 15th, and 16th place, respectively. Travelling together since Dawson, this trail trinity crossed the line one minute apart beginning at 3:36am, for final times of 11 days, 14 hours, and 30 through 32 minutes. Drobny spoke highly of her lead dog Sullivan, while Pace once again hailed the company he was graciously “allowed” to keep and said he thoroughly enjoyed his rookie run. Pace finished with 10 dogs, Strathe with nine, and Drobny with eight.
Shortly after 8am, running a team of nine, Tore Albrigsten ended his first crack at the Quest in 17th, with a time of 11 days, 19 hours, 2 minutes. In his post-race remarks Albrigsten said he went into the Quest with a pragmatic approach. “I started this race with very low ambition. I knew I had to take it carefully. We have improved step by step.”
Eighteenth place went to Rob Cooke and his 10 Siberians, hitting the finish line at 1:34pm for a time of 12 days, 28 minutes. Cooke, who persevered through some tough weather and lead dog issues in the first 500 miles, said he always comes here looking for the toughest race on earth and he found it this year. “Even without the storm it's still a long hard race,” said Cooke.
Red Lantern candidate Gaetan Pierrard is the final musher left in the race. He arrived at the Braeburn checkpoint at 9:57am, and left with eight dogs at 6:06pm. Pierrard is currently down to the final 36 miles of his first Quest finish.
Gaetan and all the other 2016 Quest finishers will be on hand tomorrow night from 6:30pm to 10pm at the Mt. MacIntyre Recreation Centre for Meet the Mushers sponsored by Inuksuk Professional Dog Food. A free event to everyone, this is where the public can meet this year’s competitors and talk to them about the race. Bring something to have signed by your favorite musher, or purchase a race poster or other merchandise at the event.
Afterwards, join us Saturday night at the Yukon Convention Centre for the Finish & Awards Banquet to see the presentation of this year’s awards, stories from 1,000 miles of adventure, live entertainment, a silent auction, a draw for our cash raffle, and a fantastic dinner.