Race rules

Distance: 110 miles (180 km)

Trail:  Dawson City, Yukon to Forty Mile via the Top of the World Highway and return following the Yukon River, with some bush trails depending on the ice conditions. 

Mushers are strongly advised to read the trail description prior to sign up. Weather, elevation and the nature of the terrain will make this a challenging race.

Layovers: Mushers will take a mandatory six (6) hour layover in Forty Mile. Please bring sufficient stove fuel for melting snow for dog and human food. Mushers will also be required to provide their own straw for bedding for the dogs and an Arctic style sleeping bag for themselves. Due to COVID regulations, there will be no inside sleeping area for mushers.

Number of Dogs: Minimum six (6) – maximum nine (9)

Number of Teams: The 2021 race will be limited to a maximum of twenty (20) teams (maximum two (2) teams per kennel) based on sign up order. Should the number of teams exceed twenty (20), a wait list will be maintained. A wait list has priority over late entries.

Start: 10:00 am on the Top of the World in West Dawson at the Sunnydale turnoff. Staggered start timed at two (2) minute intervals.

The first musher to leave the starting line will carry a bag of mail.

Registration Deadline: Entries will be accepted starting January 1, 2021.  Entry deadline is February 6, 2021. Payment must be received by that time. Entry will not be guaranteed until the entry form is complete and the entry fee has been paid in full. Any mushers wishing to sign up after the February 6th deadline will incur an additional $100 late registration fee. Should there be more than 20 teams, a wait list will be established and given priority over late entries.

Registration and Entry Fee: 

The entry fee for the 2021 Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race will be $350. 

Entry will not be guaranteed until the entry form is complete and the entry fee has been paid in full

If teams withdraw from the race after the entry fee has been paid the following refund rates apply:

  • 50% refund between January 1st and January 30, 2021

  • No refunds after January 30, 2021

  • If the race is cancelled due to COVID, full refunds will be provided

With the approval of the Race Marshall, and assuming residency criteria are met, mushers may be substituted up to and including the start of the mushers’ meeting.

Eligibility to Enter: The 2021 Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race is only open to residents of Yukon. All participants (mushers, handlers, etc.) will be asked for two pieces of ID (ie; driver’s license, Territorial health card, etc.) as proof of residency. 

COVID Requirements: The Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race will comply with all COVID regulations imposed by the Yukon Government:

  • Teams will be required to park a minimum of six (6) feet apart at Forty Mile

  • There will be no indoor sleeping facilities at Forty Mile

  • The race will not be able to provide musher meals at Forty Mile

  • Mushers may be required to wear face masks at pre- and post-race meetings

  • Race is subject to approval of the Yukon Government Department of Health. If the race is cancelled due to COVID, full refunds will be provided

Purse Breakdown:

This year’s purse will be a guaranteed minimum of $5000, spread over the first seven finishers of the Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race.
The size of the purse, and whether it will grow, will depend on the number of entry fees accumulated.


RULES: Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race

1. Mandatory Mushers' Meeting:

Refer to Musher Information page for time and place. Door is locked at the beginning of the meeting, and there will be a $50 fine for late arrivals, payable before the end of the meeting.

2. Staging Area:

Top of the World Highway in West Dawson by the Sunnydale turnoff. All teams must be in designated staging spots no later than 9:00 am. Teams deemed by Race Officials to be unmanageable in the staging area when they need to be brought to the start chute will not be able to start at their designated start time. In this case, the team will start last, but will be timed from their initial designated start time.

3. Race Start:

"The Percy" race has a timed start at two (2) minute intervals. Teams must leave, within one (1) minute of their start time. If unable to enter the chute at their designated time, the team will start last. The team must leave within thirty (30) minutes of their designated start time or be disqualified and forfeit the entry fee.

4. Handlers:

The Handler will be allowed to ride and/or assist to the start.

5. Number of Dogs:

All mushers are allowed six (6) dogs minimum, nine (9) dogs maximum. No loose leaders are allowed, and no dogs may be added to a team after the start of the race. Dogs must be in musher's control at all times. No switching of dogs between mushers is permitted. All dogs must finish the race, either in the team or in the sled. Although a vet will be on-hand, there will be no capability to drop dogs at Forty Mile

6. Treatment of Dogs:

There shall be no cruel or inhumane treatment of dogs (as determined by the Race Officials). No whips or jinglers permitted. All care and feeding of dogs will be done by the Musher only. Only mushers may assist one another during the race. No outside assistance is allowed during the race, including checkpoints, unless an emergency is declared and judged so by the Race Marshall. Incidental help at checkpoints is permitted. Teams will be assessed by the Race Vet and Race Official as necessary. Teams may not be allowed to proceed until cleared by the Race Official. Any pre-existing dog health issues, and/or on-going treatments, must be identified to the vets prior to the race start. If an issue is not declared before the race and is then noticed during the race, it will be deemed to have occurred during the race.

7. Vaccines: 

  • Proof of current Parvovirus and Distemper vaccinations must be provided. In the case of those who self-vaccinate, proof of purchase will be required.

  • In Date Rabies certificates for each dog running the race are required.

8. Vet Books:

Although there will be no formal vet check prior to the start of the Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race, mushers will be expected to only enter dogs in peak physical fitness and capable of finishing an arduous mid-distance race. Mushers will be provided with a vet book at the pre-race mushers’ meeting. Mushers will be expected to bring to the attention of the vet team any minor issues concerning individual dogs (e.g. harness rub, minor foot issues etc.). The vets may wish to examine these dogs and will make relevant notes in the vet book. The vet book will form part of the mandatory equipment teams are expected to have available for inspection throughout the race. If issues are noted by race personnel (vets and/or officials) after race start, it will be taken that these issues arose during the race and teams can be penalised accordingly. In all instances, prior to, during and on completion of the race, the decision of the race vets and race officials will be final, subject to mushers following the appeals process as laid out in these rules. 

9. Mandatory Gear:

Every Musher will have in their possession during the entire race the following items:

  • RACE BIB must be worn at race start and finish, and must be returned in good condition

  • Winter sleeping bag (due to COVID regulations, mushers will be expected to sleep outside)

  • Hand axe

  • One pair of snowshoes and bindings

  • Snow hook

  • Light (flashlight or headlight)

  • At least 8 booties per dog when departing Dawson and Forty Mile

  • Sled bag big enough to properly secure and cover at least one dog and gear

  • Vet book

  • Sturdy mid-distance or long-distance sled (no sprint sleds permitted)

  • Straw

  • Dog Food – sufficient for a minimum of two days

  • Human Food and Drinks – sufficient for a minimum of two days

  • Fuel: There will be no water available at Forty Mile so mushers must carry sufficient fuel to melt snow for preparing food for their team and themselves

  • Promotional material as required by the race organization

  • SPOT device as supplied by the race organization

One hour per missing item will be added to Musher's total running time. Teams missing any of these items at the start will not be allowed to leave until they are present. Gear will also be checked in Forty Mile.

10. Clearing Trail and Passing:

Any musher setting up camp must clear the trail of their dogs and gear. Slower teams must yield to faster, overtaking teams and provide the overtaking team sufficient time to untangle if necessary before following. A musher being passed is responsible for controlling their dogs to allow for a clean pass. The team being passed cannot pass the overtaking team for a minimum of five (5) minutes.

11. Littering:

Absolutely no littering anywhere along the trail or at the checkpoint. Handlers are required to clean up after teams in the staging area and dispose of waste in designated areas.

12. Mandatory Layovers:

Six (6) hours mandatory rest must be taken at Forty Mile

Teams must provide their own straw for their dogs

Teams will be expected to park a minimum of six (6) feet apart in order to comply with COVID regulations; parking spots will be marked and assigned to each musher.

There will be no food or drinks provided for mushers at Forty Mile

Mushers will have to be prepared to melt snow for water for their teams

Sleeping spaces will not be provided for mushers

13. Sportsmanship:

All mushers must conduct themselves in a civil and sportsmanlike manner for the duration of the event, from the Mushers' Meeting through to the end of the Awards Banquet.

14. No Man's Land:

No man's land shall be considered the land between the Moosehide Village (approx. the last three (3) miles) and the finish line. Within this area, trail does not have to be given at the request of the overtaking Musher.

15. Finish:

An official finish shall be determined by the front of the sled crossing the finish line. The finish line is on the Yukon River, near the entrance to Dawson City. Gear will be checked and teams must be cleared by a Race Official before entering any vehicle.

16. Penalties:

Failure to adhere to any and all rules will result in a penalty. Race officials will determine suitable penalties. A Musher may request a penalty review by the Race Marshal.

17. Appeal:

A further appeal can be made to the Appeal Committee. The decision of the Appeal Committee is final. Any appeal has to be made to the committee prior to the start of the banquet.

18. Censure:

The Committee may reject any entries submitted for any reason of past conduct.

19. Protest:

Any infraction of these rules observed may be protested verbally to the next official on the trail. A written report will also be required within a time frame, as indicated by the Race Official.

20. Vehicles:

If mushers have vehicles, they must be in the finish line vicinity as indicated at the mushers' meeting.

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