2012 Yukon Quest sled dog race.
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The 2012 Yukon Quest sled dog race originated in downtown Fairbanks on the frozen Chena river. The race day was February 2nd with the temperature at minus 20 below zero. This is an annual race of 1000 miles over demanding frozen terrain. The route follows historic gold rush and mail trails through Alaska to Canada. There are 23 registered international mushers this year with nearly one-third being female. The final destination is the city of Whitehorse, located in the Yukon. The course has a marked route where each musher must register their arrival and departure times. There are several mandatory rest stops for the entire mushing team and veterinary inspections for the dogs. This year's winning purse amounts to $150,000 which was raised through sponsor support and fund raising.
Each musher must be responsible for the health of their dogs. The trail will be plagued by severe cold and river overflow. The mushers will experience sleep deprivation, hunger and constant fatigue. The average distance of the leaders will be 70 to 90 miles a day.
The 2010 Yukon Quest race was won by rookie musher Dallas Seavey in the time of 10 days, 11 hours and 53 minutes. The second most popular sled dog race, Alaskan Iditarod, begins March 5th. This route is from Anchorage, Alaska to Nome, Alaska.