Emily Schwing, special to Alaska Public Media
Alaskan Hugh Neff has won the Yukon Quest. Neff outran Allen Moore by 26 seconds this morning in Whitehorse, Yukon to take the victory in the 39th running of the sled dog race. The Tok musher had come from behind to win. Neff had trailed Moore by 42 minutes on Monday.
Allen Moore of Two Rivers is first musher to reach the halfway point of the Yukon Quest. Moore was followed in closely by Lance Mackey and High Neff early this morning. As Emily Schwing reports, temperatures are climbing above zero, and mushers are starting to position themselves for a race to the finish.
The first musher to the race’s halfway point at Dawson City is expected tonight. Mushers have been out of touch, on the remote 150 mile stretch of trail between Eagle and Dawson since last night when four-time champ Lance Mackey led Hugh Neff, Allen Moore, Brent Sass, Jake Berkowitz and Sonny Lindner out of the checkpoint.
Lance Mackey has taken the lead in the Yukon Quest sled dog race. He arrived at Eagle Checkpoint at 2:08 this afternoon, with Hugh Neff one minute behind. Allen Moore and Brent Sass are also resting at Eagle. Meanwhile, a second musher has dropped out of the race. Rookie Jason Weitzel of Two Rivers scratched back at Circle.
There is a winter weather advisory in effect over the Steese Highway, including Eagle Summit and over 100 miles of the Yukon Quest trail until early morning, Saturday.
A little known, but long running program is teaching music in villages across Alaska. Earlier this year, teachers with “Dancing with the Spirit” were in Eagle. The program aims to prevent suicide and substance abuse in villages, but it’s also bringing communities together.