FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) When preparing for a two-week, 1,000-mile sled dog race, there is a long list of essentials needed to withstand the frigid, enduring trails. The 29 mushers preparing for the 2020 Yukon Quest bagged their necessities, checked it twice, and loaded it on pallets at the Summit Logistics parking lot on Saturday. The pallets were fork lifted into large trucks that will be transported to various checkpoint locations in both Alaska and the Yukon along the trail.
Some involved in the Quest refer to the food drop as the 'first day' of the Yukon Quest, as the mushers and logistics teams cross the t's and dot the i's of the race.
"This is the first day of the race!" an excited Marti Steury, Yukon Quest Executive Director said as pallets were being loaded.
"The mushers have been planning, plotting, packing and preparing for weeks and weeks, financially, morally, mentally, the dogs and everything. But it boils down to forty or fifty bags of 'stuff' and that stuff is actually the food for the dogs, the meat for the dogs, the booties for the dogs, blankets for the dogs, and some spare clothes for the musher, mostly it's all about the dogs." Steury said of the hundreds of bags being transported.
Mushers and handlers filtered throughout the day, making sure they have everything they need before hitting the trails on February 1, when the race begins in Fairbanks.
The mandatory vet-check will be on Saturday, one week prior to the race. There are ways for the community to interact with the mushers, like on January 29 for a meet-the-mushers event.
"The mushers get to relax while all of the entire community can take selfies and do autographs, they'll all be there."
The event takes place at the La Quinta Inn in the Glacier Room.
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