19 Mushers Sign-Up For 2018 Yukon Quest

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Saturday was the first day of musher sign-ups for the 2018 Yukon Quest.

The event was being held simultaneously here in Fairbanks and in the finish line for this year's race, Whitehorse Canada.

Mushers, Friends, Family, and dogs gathered around to watch The First Mushers sign up for the 1,000 mile race.

The first to do so was veteran Musher Rob Cooke in Whitehorse.

Hugh Neff is now set to embark on his 14th quest in a row and his 18th quest in total.
It will also mark his 31st time running a thousand mile course.

The first day of sign-ups saw mushers join both the 1000-mile edition of the race, as well as the YQ 300, the 300 mile edition of the race.

The 2018 Yukon Quest will begin on February 3rd 2018 and will start here in Fairbanks before the mushers make the long trip to Whitehorse.

Hugh Neff explains more about the quest and how it is more than just a race for these mushers.

"It started off the first race as all about the trail but the more you run the race the more you realize it's a family. It's not just a race. It's an event. It's a party. We're all here not to celebrate the best dog musher but the beautiful dogs. And to me that's what dog mushing should be about. The competition is ok but, when it comes down to it it's really all about the dogs. We're all far-apart family. We're all interconnected we're all doing out little dog-mushing things. We live in Alaska or all over Canada or all over the world anymore I guess. So it's cool to reconnect with everybody. And you know, training has started. It's getting colder out. It's a beautiful day today but we're coming to the rainy season we're starting to train a little bit now and this is what it's all about, it's what we live for. I mean, I've got YQ right on my chest for a reason. It's what made me become a true Alaskan. And if you wanna be a real dog musher you gotta run the quest, there's no question."