February 18, 2009; 0130 PST (Dawson City, YT) – William Kleedehn won gold today at the 2009 Yukon Quest by leading the field into Dawson City and the halfway point of the race. Provided Kleedehn finishes the race, he wins the Dawson City Award and will be the recipient of 4-ounces of Pacer Gold courtesy of the Fellers family.
The gold goes to Kleedehn as the first musher to Dawson City, but Jon Little will be the first to depart after adjusting for their start times. Little left the starting gate 18 minutes after Kleedehn.
Winning gold under these circumstances may bring back memories of 2001 for Kleedehn. In that year, he had the fastest run time at the halfway point but arrived behind Tim Osmar, who won the Dawson City Award.
The arrival in Dawson provides the first accurate look at how mushers currently compare to one another. Kleedehn arrived at 10:15 PM, followed closely by Jon Little at 10:17 PM. Hugh Neff arrived an hour later at 11:15 PM and Hans Gatt reached the checkpoint at 1:02 AM.
All mushers have a mandatory 36-hour layover in Dawson City before restarting to complete their 1000-mile journey. When the race restarts, time differentials from the start will be added to each
musher’s departure time from Dawson.
Little will be eligible to leave Dawson at 10:50 AM February 19th. Kleedehn will follow at 11:06 AM with Neff closely behind at 11:33 AM. Gatt will be able to depart at 1:41 PM.
**For the most up-to-date results from the Yukon Quest, please visit http://yukonquest.com/site/raceupdates/.
For images of the race, please visit http://yukonquest-media.4shared.com and enter ‘media’ as
the password to access images of the trail. You can also access mini-updates of the race through our
Facebook page – just search for “Yukon Quest – Official”.**
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