Two Rivers musher defended title for second year
Musher Allen Moore continues rewrite the history books in the sled dog race world. The Two Rivers musher's team held off close competitor Nicolas Petit Monday afternoon to win his fifth title in the Copper Basin 300.
After crossing the finish line at 2:05 p.m. Moore thought it was very competitive this year.
"It was definitely a race," he said. "It was close. We were nip and tuck in the end."
Moore knew Petit would be his only competition the rest of the race after both mushers pulled in to the Lake Louis Lodge checkpoint early Monday morning. Both were taking their mandatory rest time.
"I was only one minute ahead of him and he didn't even know I was in the picture because I was taking all of my rests early and he was taking all of his late," Moore said.
Petit was the first one out of that checkpoint and beat Moore to the first Tolosna checkpoint. Moore gained the lead over Petit by arriving and departing first out of the next checkpoint at Tolsona. Moore crossed the finish line at Old Paths Church in Glennallen at 2:05 p.m. Petit came in seven minutes later.
This year's experience further cemented Moore's views that the Copper Basin 300 is the best tune-up for 1,000-mile races. He believes it should be a prerequisite for races such as the Yukon Quest and Iditarod.
"Some of the other races - like on a river - that's all you see," Moore said. "Here you get to see mountains. You see cold weather most of the time. You get to see everything."
Moore's fifth victory in the Copper Basin 300 is the most in the history. Four other mushing teams have won it twice. This year also marks the second time Moore has successfully defended his title two years in a row. He pulled off the feat in 2007 and 2008. It's been done two other times. Susan Butcher did it in 1991 and 1992. Mitch Seavey won back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1998.
After scratching off one title defense, Moore gets to defend another one in two weeks, the Yukon Quest. He also plans to race in the Iditarod later this season.