Yukon Journey mushers begin arriving in Carmacks

As racing cotinues on the first day of the 2021 Yukon Journey, seven mushers have reached the Carmacks checkpoint as of 10:15 p.m. local time.

Connor McMahon was the first into the checkpoint, arriving at 8:22 p.m. with 12 dogs on the line.

“Once you get into Carmacks, the trail is a little bit difficult to follow … but it was challenging and fun,” McMahon said. “It’s a pretty long run for us and (the dogs) were a little bit tired and just kind of wanting to run and not listen too well or look too hard, but we got through.”

McMahon said he’s planning to rest for eight hours before cotinuing the race to Whitehorse, meaning he’s expected to leave at 4:22 a.m.

Next into Carmacks was Hans Gatt at 9:25 p.m., followed by Jason Biasetti at 9:42 p.m., Martine Le Levier at 9:43 p.m., Ed Hopkins at 9:47 p.m., Nathaniel Hamlyn at 10:03 p.m., and Susie Rogan at 10:06 p.m.

Mushers were almost all in good spirits at the checkpoint and indicated that trail conditions were fast – something reflected in the times – but with some challenging parts – namely some road crossings and turns along the way that required alert dogs and mushers.

The other four mushers in the race are en route to Carmacks, as of 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 24.

Ed Hopkins gets checked in at the Carmacks checkpoint during the Yukon Journey on Feb. 24, 2021. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon Sports Report)