Yukon Quest is underway

FAIRBANKS-Via Mike Ives

18 racers adn their teams departed from 2nd Avenue in downtown Fairbanks today to kick off the 1,000 mile Yukon Quest. With a large crowd on hand the excitement for the journey ahead could be felt from mushers, dogs and fans alike. The Initial lef of the race takes them 73 miles to the Two Rivers checkpoint.

Norman Casavant would be first out of the starting gate as the trek towards the $22,000 title purse begins.  He pumps up the crowd and takes off down the chute. 

Then Eureka, Alaska's Brent Sass, last year's third place finisher and three-time Quest sportsmanship award winner, gives a smooch to his lead dogs and they're off.  Love is Love, man!

Defending Quest champion Allen Moore would take off in the number eight bib and quickly the whole field was headed to the trails.  Moore won last year's shortened course by finishing in 8 days, 19 hours, and 39 minutes.  From this downtown start, it will take the teams about eight to 13 hours to hit Two Rivers for their stop.