At around five o’clock this evening the live tracker showed Allen Moore leading Hugh Neff by about two miles, each maintaining a nice, steady speed of about 6.2 miles per hour. Jake Berkowitz was roughly 30 miles behind the leaders, but gaining some ground at around 7.1 mph. They are within 20 miles (more or less) from Slaven’s Cabin, but in the coolness of evening it is feasible that they may choose to mush through and take a rest stop at the dog drop. Jake Berkowitz is running about 30 miles behind the two leaders and appears to be maintaining a good pace. Brent Sass was apparently camped at or near the Trout Creek Hospitality Stop, perhaps resting up for a long run tonight. He will likely run well into the night, camp on the trail or perhaps at Slavens for a few hours, and then finish the leg to Circle.
Earlier today I compared the moving average speeds of the four leading teams thus far in the race. They are running at very close to the same speed, but surprising to me is that Hugh Neff and Bent Sass have both averaged 8.0 mph while moving, while Allen Moore and Jake Berkowitz have both been averaging 7.8 mph. This hints that Hugh and Brent’s teams may have been getting more rest than those of Allen and Jake. Not by a lot, but sometimes just a half hour or so can make a big difference in the team’s performance.
Rookie Scott Smith has been garnering quite a bit of attention, as he is currently running in fifth place and is doing quite a nice job of it out on the trail. Running Jake Berkowitz’ “B” team, Markus Ingebretson has crossed the YT / Alaska border and approaching the Eagle checkpoint. Abbie Est and Susan Rogan appear to be running together and are less than 20 miles from the border. Abbie will be entering her home nation while Susan will be leaving her beloved Canada for the good, ol’ U.S. of A.
7:10 p.m., Allen is still maintaining about a 2 mile lead over Hugh Neff and they are approaching Slavens' Cabin. Jake is about 28 miles behind the leaders. Brent Sass is about 16 miles behind Jake, and moving fast (8.3 mph). Maybe that's because Scott Smith is right on his tail. Markus Ingebretsen arrived in Eagle just a little more than an hour ago.
In other Quest news today, Christina Traverse was withdrawn from the race at Dawson, having activated her spot tracker to summon assistance. Yukon Quest rules prohibit mushers from having assistance except in the checkpoint of Dawson during the long layover.
Also today, Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race
Head Vet Dr. Kathleen McGill announced the results of the necropsy
completed by Lt. Col. Christine Christensen, Board Certified Veterinary
Pathologist on the deceased dog General.
“The necropsy revealed the definitive cause of death was a condition
called intestinal volvulus with bowel infarction,” stated McGill. Intestinal volvulus is also known as bloat, which can not be predicted nor have any scientific studies determined any way to prevent the condition.