TWO RIVERS, Alaska (KTUU) - For the past six winters, musher Matt Hall has trained in Two Rivers, keeping it simple, sharing a small yurt with his fiancé at their kennel. In 2017, at just 25-years of age, Hall became the second-youngest musher to win the Yukon Quest, behind Dallas Seavey.
"I've learned a lot reflecting on last year’s race,” said Hall. “You’re tired. You’re running a race. Having the summer to reflect back on it has been pretty awesome." The Two Rivers musher is setting his sights even higher in 2018, taking on both the Quest and Iditarod.
"I'll tell you in March, after Iditarod, how it all goes,” Hall jokingly responds when asked how training is going.
Mushing is nothing new to Hall, who grew up off the road system in Eagle, Alaska, where the sport was a way of life. "Dogs were everything. It's how we hauled our firewood, hauled our water,” said Hall.
Neither the town of Eagle, nor the Hall family name, are strangers to the Yukon Quest. Matt’s dad, Wayne Hall, raced in 2002, 2006, and 2009, while his hometown of Eagle is a favorite checkpoint along the trail for many mushers. “I would work the checkpoints there. I love parking the teams. Or was something I had fun doing.”
Hall will join mushers like Hugh Neff, Allen Moore and Lance Mackey who have competed in both the Iditarod and Yukon Quest in the same year.