North

Brent Sass 1st Yukon Quest musher into Dawson City

Brent Sass is the first musher in the 2015 Yukon Quest to reach the halfway point, Dawson City. He and his team arrived just after 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Alaska musher Brent Sass arrives in Dawson City, the halfway point of the Yukon Quest, Tuesday afternoon. (Dawson City/Facebook)

Brent Sass was the first musher into the Dawson City checkpoint at the halfway point of the Yukon Quest, arriving just after 3 p.m. Tuesday with 13 dogs running and one in his sled. 

"My goal is never to be here first," he said. "My goal the last two years is to [get to] the finish line first and that's still to happen."

Sass says he and his dogs got wet just before arriving in Dawson City.

"There was some nice overflow on the road coming in. We took a little bath," he says.

He has some frostbite on his fingers but says overall, it's going well.

"The trail's been awesome. It's been a Quest trail. It's had its challenges," he said.

"It's been hard and windy and full of willows. We haven't had a whole lot of overflow. We've really enjoyed it."

Brent Sass arrived at the halfway point with 13 dogs running and one in the sled. He and his team ran into overflow just outside Dawson City. (Yukon Quest)
This is the ninth time Sass, from Eureka, Alaska, has run the Yukon Quest, a 1,600 km race between Whitehorse and Fairbanks, Alaska. Last year he was also the first musher into the Dawson City checkpoint.

There's a special prize of four ounces of placer gold for the first musher to arrive in Dawson City if the musher goes on to finish the race. Last year Sass was forced to drop out after suffering a concussion with less than a day before the finish line.  

Sass and his team will now take time to rest. There is a 24-hour mandatory layover in Dawson City for all teams.

Meanwhile, a fifth musher pulled out of the race Monday, leaving 21 teams. Alaskan musher Jeff King turned back and scratched in Pelly Crossing Tuesday afternoon. He cited concern about the amount of dog food needed to travel the distance to Dawson City in the extreme cold weather. 

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