The executive director of the Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race has decided to retire from the job after spending a total of 16 years with the race.
Marti Steury first signed on as executive director in 1983 and was in charge of four races before traveling the trail as a reporter in 1988. She returned as executive director in 2009.
With the 2020 race almost wrapped up and preparations beginning for the 2021 race, Steury feels this is the best time to step away and allow someone with new ideas to go forward, according to a Yukon Quest news release.
“First, and foremost, I would like to thank the organization for the opportunity and privilege to have spent so many years producing the event we all love, the Yukon Quest,” she said in the news release. “Due to major family health issues, I’m not able to continue to commit the time required of this role, but I look forward to still being a lifetime member and volunteer as the organization grows into the future.”
The news release, which does not name a successor, states that Steury feels assured that new faces will step in to keep the race going and that she wishes them success.
“It’s an exciting prospect to try something new and I’m going to enjoy the experience of seeing what other employment opportunities are out there for me,” Steury said. “One thing is certain – I am a big fan of this race and will be tuning in like the rest of the world come February 2021.”
“Marti has done so much for this organization throughout her years in the executive director position,” John Dixon, president of the Alaska board of directors, said in the release. “We have valued her historical knowledge of the race, the relationships she has with the community, and her positive attitude in the office. She will absolutely be missed and we wish her well in all her future plans.”
The announcement comes several weeks before the annual general meeting in Alaska, scheduled for May 30, where three new board members will be elected for three-year terms on the Alaska board of directors. The application deadline for those seeking to join the board is May 15. On the other side of the border, the Yukon board of directors is accepting applications until May 29. Applications are available online at bit.ly/2Wz6Aks
Contact staff writer Alistair Gardiner at 459-7575. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors.