Yukon Quest is restarted, due to rough trail conditions

Posted: Monday, February 10, 2003

WHITEHORSE, Yukon (AP) -- One day after the start of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, race organizers arranged for a restart in Carmacks, due to rough trail conditions.

Twenty-three mushers set out from Whitehorse Sunday for the first checkpoint at Braeburn, 109 miles away.

Canadian Rangers, who act as trail breakers on the Yukon side for the 1,000 race to Fairbanks, reported to race officials early Monday that stumps and rocks are common on the trail and conditions are dangerous due to the lack of snow and rough terrain.

Race Marshal Mel Beshara made the decision after talks with the Yukon Quest rules committee.

The teams were being trucked to the Carmacks checkpoint from Braeburn. Once the mushers arrived, the teams would restart from Carmacks checkpoint in the order in which they arrived at Braeburn.

Teams had to truck their dogs around this section of the trail in 1984, the inaugural run of the race.

Rookie Martin Massicotte of St. Tite, Quebec was leading the race before the restart was announced. He had a lead of more than 1 hr 20 minutes over William Kleedehn of Carcross and Hugh Neff of Coldfoot.

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