November 09, 2021

Somebody’s got to do it! Not everything about the Quest is guts and glory. In fact, there is a fair bit of ‘chore work’ involved, and well, if you don’t like chores, do not get into mushing.

Between the booties, cooking up hot water, feeding, equipment repair/maintenance, and many many other less obvious tasks, it’s a fair bit of work, and during the Yukon Quest Race the chores extend out over at least nine to fourteen days, depending on your speed (and luck too).

Of all the images I have harvested over the years, the following two show a unique side of the ‘work’ that often goes unnoticed.


In the first picture, The Quest Race marshal Hans Oettli patrols the start chute in Whitehorse, scooper in hand. This Quest Official is in charge of the entire race from the very moment of the start until it is over. What he says goes, in ALL aspects of the race. He is the Boss.



In this first shot he is seen ‘policing’ the poop at the start, shovel in hand, showing by example, how to step up in any situation and lead by example. (Politicians please take notice).


In the second shot, Vet Tech Donna Russel Swope illustrates the technique and highly specialized tools used to collect random urine samples from teammates. Here she is, hugely patient, very relaxed, calm, and unerringly accurate in her collection skills. Her job, far from glorious, is essential in the care and health of the teams. Thank you Donna!