Photo by Whitehorse Star
Photo by Whitehorse Star
Perhaps the best chance for a Yukon musher to win this year’s Iditarod lies with Tagish musher Michelle Phillips, running her sixth Last Great Race.
The Yukon mushers are:
• Michelle Phillips – Was the fifth musher to start this morning. Phillips has run five previous Iditarods, with her best finish coming in 2012 when she placed 16th in 10 days, eight hours and eighteen minutes. She was 20th in last year’s race. The 46-year-old Tagish musher has also run six Yukon Quests, the best finish coming in 2009 when she placed fourth.
• Yuka Honda – The Iditarod rookie from Whitehorse was the 59th musher out of the chute this morning. Honda, 42, is a veteran of four Yukon Quests, scratching in her first three attempts but finishing 15th in 2012.
• Marcelle Fressineau – An Iditarod veteran, the 60-year-old Fressineau was the 24th musher to start this morning. In her only other attempt at the Last Great Race, the Whitehorse musher finished 49th last year. She’s also a veteran of three Yukon Quests, scratching in 2002 and 2005 but finishing 18th in 2012.
• Brian Wilmshurst – The Iditarod rookie from Dawson City started in 49th place this morning. A veteran of the last four Yukon Quests, the 33-year-old had his best Quest finish last month when he came in 12th.
• Rob Cooke – The 48-year-old Iditarod rookie was first out of the chute this morning. Cooke has run in two Yukon Quests, his best finish coming last month when he came in 16th to earn the Red Lantern.
Other familiar Iditarod mushers include Brent Sass, the 2015 Yukon Quest champion, and Allen Moore, the 2013 and 2014 Quest champ who placed second in this year’s race. Four-time Quest champ Lance Mackey, who finished in 14th place in this year’s Quest, is also running this year’s Iditarod, as is 2012 Quest champ Hugh Neff, who finished fifth this year. Mackey is a favourite, having won four previous Iditarod races, his last victory coming in 2010. Jeff King, a veteran of eight Yukon Quests and the 1989 champ who scratched in last month’s Quest, is also a favourite, having won four previous Iditarods, 2006 being the most recent.
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