Former Manila resident wins 2013 Yukon Quest

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Allen Moore 2013 winner of the Yukon Quest and his wife, Aliy Zirkle, 2000 winner.

Manila native Allen Moore has won the famed 1,000-mile Yukon Quest in record time, finishing the extremely difficult sled dog race in eight days, 18 hours and 57 minutes.

Taking place every February between Whitehorse, Yukon, and Fairbanks, Alaska, the Yukon Quest is considered one of the most challenging races in the world, along with the upcoming prestigious Iditarod, another sled dog race between Anchorage and Nome in Alaska.

Both are extremely difficult due to harsh weather conditions and tough courses

Allen and team at the start of the Yukon Quest - Scout and Beemer in lead.

Moore's mother, Donnie Moore of Manila, was on hand to congratulate him at the finish line, along with his two daughters and their families and his wife, Aliy Zirkle, who won the race in 2000 -- the first and only woman ever to win the title.

Many of Moore's friends in Manila were keeping up with the race via internet and were quick to spread the word.

Moore now is back at home in Two Rivers, Alaska, near Fairbanks. He took second place last year, only 26 seconds behind winner Hugh Neff and in his only other race took sixth place.

Allen feeds Chica at the Two Rivers Checkpoint.

Moore crossed the finish line at Fairbanks at 6:54 a.m. Monday, Feb. 11, one hour and 16 minutes ahead of Neff. He said he was 17 minutes ahead at the last checkpoint with 70 miles to go. Overall conditions for the race were good this year, he added.

Moore was raised in Manila and graduated from Manila High School in 1976. He has lived in Alaska for several years. He and Zirkle own and operate Skunk's Place (SP) Kennel at Two Rivers. The kennel was named after Zirkle's first sled dog.

Moore and Zirkle and their dogs train throughout the year. Both plan to be in the starting lineup for the 2013 Iditarod, starting in two weeks. Zirkle finished second by only one hour in last year's 1,000-mile Iditarod. Both are looking forward to this year's event. They have no plans to retire.

"As long as we are having fun we plan to continue," Moore said.

Moore praised his team of dogs in the Yukon Quest and said they will be ready for the Iditarod. The two have 43 dogs at SP Kennel.

Moore and Zirkle also have a website and anyone interested in the work they do and the care of their dogs can search SP Kennel online to learn more.

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