Mayla Hill of Elevation Sled Dogs is proving herself as a musher to watch. It's her first time racing at the Yukon Quest, and her longest distance race to date, but Hill is keeping up with the YQ300 front runners. She and her team arrived 3rd at Braeburn check point at 5:33 AM, behind Brent Sass and Michelle Phillips.
Sass is keeping a steady, fast pace with times of 5 hours 7 minutes on the way to Mandanna Lake and 5 hours 6 minutes on the way back to Braeburn. Hill lost a little time on the way back, recording times of 5 hours 11 minutes to Mandanna Lake and 5 hours 24 minutes on the way back.
But impressively, Hill has been running with only 9 dogs since the start line in Whitehorse.
She grew up in a northern trapping community in British Columbia, traveling with sled dogs out to hunting and fishing camps from a young age. Only six months ago, Hill migrated south to Grande Prairie, Alberta, to work as a handler with Aaron Peck of Elevation Sled Dogs.
"I feel pretty calm. It's just another race," Hill had commented at starting line at Shipyard's Park, only a few days ago.
An understatement for the up and coming musher as she follows closely behind seasoned mushers Sass and Phillips -- Mayla Hill is having the race of her life.