Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

FULL STEAM AHEAD – The Dog Powered Sports Association of Yukon released its Yukon Journey 450 rules and opened registration on Christmas Eve. Pictured, Hans Gatt mushes in DPSAY’s Poker Fun Run on Dec. 19.

DPSAY releases Yukon Journey 450 rules, opens registration

In early December, the Dog Powered Sports Association of Yukon (DPSAY) announced it would be hosting the Yukon Journey 450, a dog mushing race from Dawson City to Whitehorse.

By John Tonin on December 31, 2020

In early December, the Dog Powered Sports Association of Yukon (DPSAY) announced it would be hosting the Yukon Journey 450, a dog mushing race from Dawson City to Whitehorse. Or, if 450 miles don't suit your fancy, there is a 200-mile race from Pelly to Whitehorse. The race will be run Feb. 21-26. The Pelly start will begin on the 23rd.

On Dec. 24, DPSAY gave the mushing community an early Christmas present by opening registration and releasing the rules, which are the same for the 450- and 200-mile races.

The last day to sign up for the race is Jan. 15. There will be a maximum of 25 teams combined between the two distances. Fifteen spots will be reserved for the 450 and 10 for the 200. If, by Jan. 15, either race is not full, spaces will be allotted to teams on the waiting list should one exist.

Perhaps the most interesting component of the rules is the 450-mile race format.

The race will begin with a mass-start on the Yukon River, but that is subject to change if conditions do not allow for it. Bib numbers will be assigned according to the order of sign-up.

From the start in Dawson City to Pelly Crossing, teams have a maximum of 52 hours to complete the 210 miles. Teams may begin to enter Pelly at 5 a.m. on Feb. 23, hour 42 of the race. A team cannot enter before that time.

There will be a hospitality stop at Scroggie Creek, mile 100. The race will deliver one 40-pound drop bag to Scroggie for each musher.

The use of the cabin at Scroggie will be governed by COVID-19 rules. Teams must plan to be self-sufficient in terms of camping and they must bring their own food. Mushers do not need to camp at the hospitality stop.

Upon arriving in Pelly, there will be a four-hour mandatory rest period. Teams must leave the checkpoint between 3 and 7 p.m. on Feb. 23 – hour 52-56 of the race.

That means teams must arrive no later than 3:01 p.m. on Feb. 23. If a team does not arrive in that time, it will be withdrawn from the race.

The 250 miles from Pelly to Whitehorse are a time raced with 20 hours of mandatory rest to be taken in five different locations of the mushers' choice. However, three hours of rest must be taken at each of Carmacks and Braeburn.

The finish line will be at Shipyards Park in Whitehorse.

The route runs along the Yukon Quest trail from Dawson City to Whitehorse. The Rangers will not be putting in the trail for the Yukon Journey 450 but a team of experienced volunteers will be taking on the charge.

A minimum of eight dogs and a maximum of 12 dogs may start the race. A minimum of six dogs running must finish the race. The dogs must be northern-bred, and mushers must have sufficient protective gear for each dog, including booties and dog coats as the trail requires.

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