FAIRBANKS,Ak-He was only 26 seconds away from winning the Yukon Quest last year but in this year's 30th edition of the Quest, Allen Moore stands alone.
Moore, the Two Rivers resident, came into Fairbanks 6:54 early this morning. He beat out Hugh Neff, who led much of the race by an hour and 16 minutes.
Moore crushed the old record of 9 days and 26 minutes by Hans Gatt in 2010. Moore completed the Quest in a record 8 days 19 hours and 39 minutes. Moore and his wife Aily Zurkle, who won the quest in 2000 are the first husband and wife to have Yukon Quest titles.
Third time is the charm for Moore who is finally in the winner's circle.
"It feels great, you know. It's something you strive for all year long. It's kind of like a basketball championship or football championship. It's what you go for all year long that you're preparing for," Moore said.
Moore also mentioned was the key point in the race.
"I think what swung it in my favor was in Circle when he stayed three hours maybe. We'd just done a long run and he didn't stay very long. I was sleeping, so he just snuck out and thought he would go almost 75 miles to Central and it made his dogs really tired. Because when I left, I made up an hour and a half on him on that run because his dogs were tired and mine weren't. I think that was a pivotal point."
The defending Yukon Quest champion Hugh Neff took second place. He set another fast record with an 8 day 20 hour and 55 minute race.
Neff set the tone for the Quest getting out far ahead of the field and was the first to Dawson but Allen Moore was always close by and Moore as mentioned earlier took over at Circle.
Since 2007 Neff has finished in the top ten except for 2011 when he withdrew. This was Neff's thirteenth Yukon Quest but it will be the last for his beloved dog Walter. Walter has 9000 miles on him and this was his last Yukon Quest run.
Neff talked about this year's Quest.
"We would've been happy top 5, so to have the chance you even come in here and push for the win is sort of my numbing, but I knew the whole time that Alan was the guy to beat and he obivously proved his worth. Congrats to Allen," Neff said.
Neff went on to say that Moore is like the Jay-Z of dog mushing. Now that's a compliment.