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Yukon Quest shortens race for 2021, will not be run in Canada

The Yukon Quest will host the YQ300 in Alaska in February, overcoming logistical and financial obstacles.
The Yukon Quest will host the YQ300 in Alaska in February, overcoming logistical and financial obstacles.(John Dougherty (KTVF))
Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 2:56 PM AKDT
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WHITEHORSE, YT (KTVF) - The Board of Directors of the Yukon Quest International Association, located in Canada, made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s 38th running of the Yukon Quest on the Canadian side.

The annual race, which was already facing several changes for 2021 due to border restrictions, was scheduled to take place starting in Whitehorse, on February 6th, 2021, after the conclusion of the Alaska part of the race.

“We did not make this decision lightly”, said Bev Regier, President of the YQIA Board. Citing major impacts to this year’s race such as restrictions to international travel, economic challenges to local sponsors and the potential risk of exposure of the COVID-19 virus to Yukon communities along the race route, the YQIA Board of Directors decided that the best decision for the 38th iteration of the race was to cancel this year’s race. “We have a responsibility to look at all aspects of the organization and an even greater responsibility to keep our community’s health a priority”, said Regier.

The Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, which normally runs between Fairbanks, AK and Whitehorse, YT each February, regularly travels through 10 different communities, many of which are First Nations communities. Given the unique challenges of running an event of this magnitude during a pandemic, everything from volunteer availability, to entrance of international mushers into the Territory has been impacted.

The decision to cancel the 38th running of the Yukon Quest in Canada was made out of great concern for the health and safety of Yukoners, mushers, and all race supporters.

The Yukon Quest International Association (Canada) Board of Directors would like to express sincere gratitude to its members, mushers, volunteers, participating communities and valued sponsors for continuing to support this uniquely northern event. The YQIA looks forward to returning to full race programming in 2022 with our sister organization in Alaska.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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