Sass takes title in new Yukon Quest race, Hall secures 300 win

Brent Sass wins the Yukon Quest Alaska 550
Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 10:34 AM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTUU) - Defending Iditarod champion Brent Sass came out on top in the first running of the Yukon Quest Alaska 550.

The 550-mile race came about after the historic Yukon Quest split in two last year after an organizational disagreement. Now, instead of crossing over the Canadian border and finishing in Whitehorse, Yukon, the race traveled through Circle and Nenana on the way to the finish line in Fairbanks.

Sass finished over three hours ahead of Amanda Otto to win in convincing fashion. A total of nine mushers took on the 550-mile trail.

According to Sass, the new race organizers did a great job and put on a great race.

“It’s over, it’s kind of a bummer, had such a good time out there,” Sass said. “No, it was great, I am super proud of the dog team and it was an epic trail. The Quest did an awesome job of putting on a really awesome event.”

Yukon Quest Alaska 550 Top 5 finishers
1. Brent Sass
2. Amanda Otto
3. Wade Marrs
4. Cody Strathe
5. Nic Petit
Yukon Quest Alaska 300 Top 5 finishers
1. Matt Hall
2. Isaac Teaford
3. Ron Stiffler Jr.
4. Samantha Lalonde
5. Vickie Justice

Now Sass’s sights are set on the Iditarod. Other than heading home to assemble his Iditarod food drops, Sass said there won’t be a lot more training left before the big race next month.

“It’s a lot of R&R to be honest with you,” Sass said. “We’re not going to do a lot of ... training, but for the most part, these guys are absolutely ready to go. Yeah, I am super super excited for the Iditarod.”

Matt Hall came out on top in the 300-mile race, which finished earlier in the week. Isaac Teaford came in second place.

The mushing world is busy this weekend with the Willow Junior 100, The Goose Bay 150 and the Yukon Quest Canada 450-, 250- and 100-mile races all starting on Saturday, Feb. 11.