Alaskan musher Allen Moore wins 2018 Yukon Quest

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Alaskan musher Allen Moore wins 2018 Yukon Quest

Veteran Alaskan musher Allen Moore is now a three-time champion of the Yukon Quest.

Moore was the first to cross the finish line at Shipyards Park in Whitehorse at about 8:00 a.m. local time on Tuesday. 

As he approached the final leg on Monday, Moore had about a five hour lead heading into Whitehorse. He finished the race with all 14 dogs that he started with — an unusual feat for a Quest musher, and even more so for a front-runner.

"You know, not many people have arrived at the finish chute in any position, with 14 dogs, and if I knew the answer how to do that every time, I would be doing it," he said.

Moore credited his wife Aliy Zirkle, a former Yukon Quest champion and three-time runner up in the Iditarod.

"We got superb dogs, we have my wife Aliy, probably the best dog care person there is, so with all that it was a good year," said Moore.

He was also a champion in 2013 and 2014 — a year for which he also holds the record for fastest winning time of 8 days, 14 hours, 21 minutes.

"Winning's always good, I don't know what you say, I'll come back next year and try for four," said Moore.

Twenty-six mushers signed up for the 1,600-kilometre international sled dog race this year, which started in Fairbanks, Alaska, on Feb. 3. As of Tuesday morning, only 15 mushers remained in the race: nine had scratched, while two were withdrawn.

The prize for this year's race is $125,000 US.

According to the Yukon Quest website, the trail follows historical Gold Rush and mail delivery dog sled routes from the turn of the 20th century.

There was a significant change to the route this year with the mushers heading into Whitehorse on Lake Laberge because the usual route was too icy and dangerous.

Moore said the trail was mostly in excellent shape this year.

The annual race has taken place every year since 1984 over rough, gruelling terrain in often bitterly cold temperatures.