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Reuter joins Quest as race marshal

Peter Reuter will be the race marshal for the 2020 race from Fairbanks to Whitehorse, the Yukon Quest announced last Thursday.

By John Tonin on January 7, 2020

Peter Reuter will be the race marshal for the 2020 race from Fairbanks to Whitehorse, the Yukon Quest announced last Thursday.

This will be Reuter’s first year as the Yukon Quest race marshal, although he brings three years of experience with him as a race judge on the Copper Basin 300.

Reuter began running dogs in the 1980s with a trapline team. His experience over the last 30 years includes backcountry travel, guiding tours, and training long-distance racing dogs from the Adirondacks of New York to the Yukon and Alaska. In addition, he has completed many mid-distance races, including the 2015 YQ300 and the 2017 Iditarod.

Reuter said he is looking forward to getting started on his first Yukon Quest and applying his experience as race judge on the Copper Basin 300.

"I'm really excited to work with a race of this standpoint," said Reuters. "It's a large undertaking, but it's like running a dog race. There are pre-race prep and attention to detail.

"I’m excited for the opportunity to apply my experience as a race judge for the Copper Basin 300 to the role of race marshal in the Yukon Quest. I’m pulling together a great team of race judges and am looking forward to watching the 2020 race unfold."

The Quest has been run since 1983, and Reuter said consistency is what he and his team are striving for.

By bringing that consistency, Reuter explained that the mushers will be able to focus on their dogs, the race and the trail.

"From a musher standpoint, my job, once the race starts, is chief referee," said Reuter. "The less we interact, the better."

Returning for her sixth year as head veterinarian and 11th year as an on-trail vet is Dr. Nina Hansen. She is responsible for overseeing the sled dog care during the race. It includes pulling together a team of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and veterinary students from all over the world to make up the official Yukon Quest Veterinary Team.

Reuter said it gives him peace of mind knowing the head vet is experienced.

"They've got their chops down," said Reuter.

Reuter and Hansen have worked together before in the Copper Basin 300.

"I’m very much looking forward to being on the trail again for my 11th Yukon Quest," says Hansen. "Being the head veterinarian in the Copper Basin 300, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with Peter already and am happy to work with him, Pixie (Ingram), Briana (Mackay), and Heather (Scannell), as well as all the returning members of the race team for the 2020 race.”

Sharing the position of race manager for the 2020 race is Alaskan Heather Scannell and Yukoner Briana Mackay.

“It’s a Fairbanks start year so the Alaska side of the trail will be very busy from the get-go with both the 1,000-mile and YQ300 teams, “says Scannell. “It’s great to be working with Bri for a second year, and it helps knowing the Yukon side of the trail is in good hands.”

This returning duo is responsible for all the logistics to make the race happen. That includes the transportation of personnel, ensuring checkpoints have all required equipment to run efficiently, setting up Internet at checkpoints to keep fans around the world updated, and much more.

“To take on the role as race manager means to face challenges head-on,” says Mackay. “This race has many moving pieces, and it’s our job to put it all together to ensure the success of the race.”

The 37th Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race will start Feb. 1 in Fairbanks.

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