Monthly Archives

February 2018

Many athletes affected by the extreme cold

Almost all athletes looked strong as they got to Muktuk Adventures last night. So, we were hoping most of them will get through the night without major problems. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The extreme cold did eventually take its toll. Temperatures down to – 45 degrees Celsius are tough under any circumstances. But if it’s during the first night it’s particularly bad news. It actually still looked okay during the night but in the early morning hours the so called “Help” messages were starting to come through.
When going out to pick up Gavin Clark and Richard Charles I also ran into Stefano Ferronato and a bit later Hiroki Asai. I brought them to Whitehorse. Gavin and Richard have frostbite. They went to hospital and got it treated. Hiroki and Stefano could not keep warm enough and Hiroki had the hand-version of immersion foot but should be fine once his hands are dry.
Juan Pablo was picked up shortly after by Gary Vantell and also brought to town. His problem is frostbite on fingers, too. Other support requests came from further north. Jorgen Thorsted had to give up due to knee and back problems. More athletes who dropped out are Nick Griffith, Erik Scharpe and Jorgen Thorsted. Jorgen had problems with knee and ankles. For the other athletes I have no details, yet.
As I am writing this, Joe Bishop is checking on the team from Hong Kong who pushed the “Help” button, too.
Athletes who are still moving towards Dog Grave Lake have been checked upon by now. So far no further news about participants having to give up. Jovica actually managed to go past Dog Grave Lake last night without stopping. I do not have the details yet as to why this happened. He turned around eventually and is now at the checkpoint.
We are in what we refer to as “high alert status”. This means the race comes to a halt. Any athletes not scratching and reaching Dog Grave Lake today will have to stay there. The good news is that we have wall tent space there for them. It won’t be comfortable but will sure be warmer than outside.
The next steps depend on several factors, the main one of course being the weather forecast.

The 15th Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra has started

At 10:35 AM 48 athletes from 17 different countries hit the Yukon Quest trail in Whitehorse. Temperatures were around – 30 degrees. Local runner Kristin Daniel won the marathon distance, arriving at 14:38. An excellent time considering these temperatures and a trail that was not always rock solid. In the overall ranking Benjamin Harper came second (at 15:45) and Katie Moon third (at 16:18). Both also are from Whitehorse. With the exception of Ed McLean all marathoners were able to finish. Together with the ultra distance athletes they all enjoyed the great hospitality here at Muktuk Adventures. Thank you Manuela and the entire Muktuk team!  Thank you also to Elisabeth from Black Bear Wilderness Adventures for bringing the international marathon participants safely back to Whitehorse!

Considering the cold temperatures we have had, all athletes looked in pretty good shape. James Binks and Barry Potts did not continue on. They are both fine, though. Barry is back in Whitehorse and James will continue on with the crew tomorrow and support his fellow athletes.

All 100 and 300 mile athletes remaining in the race have now left Muktuk Adventures. It is a clear and very cold night. Especially down on the Takhini River it is chilly. Temperatures will reach – 40 degrees C and exhaustion will kick in. It’s a long stretch to Dog Grave Lake and hopefully they will all get through the night without any major problems.

Currently leading the 300 miles is Jovica from Serbia. Behind him is Nikolaj Pedersen from Denmark. In the 100 mile race Emanuele Gallo from Italy is going strong, with the remaining field not far behind.

Some SPOTs are not working very well. The reasons vary. That is why we write down in/out times and do our trail checks. The athletes also know that there are no trail checks or evacs at night. If they can’t continue they rest and try to stay warm. All know how to build a wood fire and have the necessary gear.