Day 9 of the 2020 Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race brought continued leader leapfrog, the last departure from the Dawson checkpoint, and two scratches.
At the front of the pack, Brent Sass and Michelle Phillips spent another day playing leader leapfrog. Phillips took the lead from Sass a little after 3am PST as he rested at Stepping Stone. She would hang on and reach Pelly Crossing first shortly after 8am PST. Sass reclaimed top spot just after 11am PST when he opted not to stay at the checkpoint for rest. Both he and Phillips dropped a dog each in Pelly, continuing on with 11-dog teams. Sass made McCabe Creek around 3pm PST and rested his team. Phillips opted for McCabe rest as well when she arrived at approximately 4pm PST, but departed after an hour, putting her back in first place as the Quest trail joins the historic Dawson Overland Trail. Phillips held onto to the lead all the way to Carmacks, arriving just before midnight, with Sass roughly eight miles behind.
No changes mid-pack today, with Cody Strathe maintaining a 10-mile buffer ahead of Allen Moore to hang onto third. Strathe took significant rest in Pelly and still has 10 dogs. Moore stopped in Pelly only long enough for supplies and a dog drop, leaving with 13 on the line.
Day’s end finds fifth place Torsten Kohnert resting at Stepping Stone, with Ryne Olson and Nora Själin still enroute. Rob Cooke and Richie Beattie are enjoying rest at Scroggie Creek, with rookie Pat Noddin approximately 20 miles out.
Current red lantern Olivia Webster and her team of 10, who departed Dawson at 4:45pm PST, have just under 60 miles to go on the trek to Scroggie.
Both their teams battling stomach virus issues, Quest veterans Dave Dalton and Chase Tingle made the difficult decision to scratch in Dawson City for the well-being of their dogs.
Standings as of 12:00am PST:
- Michelle Phillips
- Brent Sass
- Cody Strathe
- Allen Moore
- Torsten Kohnert
- Ryne Olson
- Nora Själin
- Rob Cooke
- Richie Beattie
- Pat Noddin
- Olivia Webster
This race day update is brought to you by Yukon Quest Major Sponsor K&L Distributors.