Dawson City, Yukon, musher Brian Wilmhurst will be the first to set off from Whitehorse Saturday for the 30th running of the Yukon Quest.
The race trail stretches approximately 1,600 kilometres between Whitehorse and Fairbanks, with four mandatory rest points. The start and finish lines alternate each year.
Wilmhurst drew bib no.1 at the draw banquet Thursday night. Carcross musher Crispin Studer, who drew bib no. 26, will be the last to depart.
Twelve of the teams got their vet checks done in Whitehorse last weekend — 10 teams from Yukon and two from Alaska.
The checks decide which dogs run the Quest. Their temperatures are taken, their heart rates and respiratory rates checked.
Dogs that have never run the Quest are fitted with a microchip, so they can be scanned throughout the race.
“We [note] anything down that we think would be a concern and then they have those 10 days to fix them up to make sure that they are ready to race,” said veterinarian Kim Friedenberg.
“Then the decision is made by the actual race vets that are working on the race.”
The race begins Saturday at 11 a.m. in Whitehorse.