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Primus sponsors fuel for MYAU athletes

Once again Primus will sponsor the fuel for all MYAU athletes. Please go to Coast Mountain Sports on Main Street Whitehorse in order to get your fuel. They have white gas and also the Primus winter gas. If you pick up white gas please remember to take along your gas bottles. Also, if you store your gas bottles – no matter if it’s in your sled or in a drop bag – make sure you close it well. A gas leak in your gear is the last thing you want!

The latest news

Not much longer now! If you had a look at the recent temperatures you probably thought this is pretty crazy. First – 40° C and now + 4° C. The good news is that the forecast says it will get colder again. In any case, winter temperature have been a lot less steady in recent years and there is nothing we can do about it. Whatever the temperatures will be, we will deal with it. At least all athletes now have seen that it really can get that cold and if it actually will get too warm it is not good news, either. Soft trails, lack of snow, less ice and overflow may be the consequences. As we get closer we will post an update regarding expected temperatures and we will talk about it again during our briefing.

The crew

Once again I have to say I am privileged to work with such a great team. There are some new faces in the volunteer crew who I am sure will enjoy the experience and many of the crew will be the same we have had for many years now.

Diane Patrick co-ordinates the medical team and volunteers. Jo Stirling will be our Race Headquarter. Gary Rusnak will co-ordinate the guides on ski-doo. Amongst them Glenn and Spencer Toovey, Robert Siefke, Ross Knox, Josh Smith, Tony Gaw and Gary Vantell. Joe Bishop will be guiding and taking great pictures again. Stewart Stirling, Pam Brown, Anja Svet and Gary Young will organize the Dog Grave Lake checkpoint. Bernard Stehelin (owner of Wilderness Fishing Yukon), Hector Leos Mendoza and Gillian Smith are at Ken Lake. Volunteers Julie Pritchard, Tania Charles, Branka Nerlovic, Martine Wolff and Medina Pedersen complement the team. Last but not least, we have the 100 mile athletes Peter Mild, Richard Charles and Gavin Clark who will join in after their race is over.


As you know from a previous update, the big news this year is our change from Rivendell Farm to Muktuk Adventures for our marathon finish. Any locals and tourists who would like to go see the finish are more than welcome to visit. Should you come with a dog, please do leave your dog in the car. You can then check with someone from Muktuk to see if it is okay to bring your pet to the start line. For the athletes the new location means they can actually eat inside. Which due to lack of space previously at Rivendell was not possible. But that’s also it. There is no place to rest inside or to hang up and dry things inside.

We have had some discussions about drying clothing and kit at remote checkpoints over the last couple of weeks. It’s a challenging topic. Obviously, we don’t want an athlete to experience a DNF due to wet gloves or similar. At the same time it is impossible to guarantee proper drying of clothes at a remote checkpoint. There is simply not enough space. Other issues are that things may get left behind, get mixed up or burned if too many people try to dry things in a wood stove heated wall tent. So, the number one thing all athletes need to keep in mind and work towards is to avoid sweating. I do realize this requires frequent stops to change layers. That’s a pain. However, dry clothes are essential for avoiding frostbite and possibly even essential for survival. Also, having to stop to take off a layer is time consuming but drying a layer in a wall tent takes time, too. In order to support participants with this challenge it is our plan at Dog Grave Lake to provide a wall tent that can be used for drying. However, this may involve time penalties. That way, athletes who end up with wet clothes can get these dry again and have less risk for getting frost bite or not finishing for being too cold. At the same time we have an incentive to react to changing temperatures. I would also like to advise that all athletes should have back-up gloves, hats, socks, etc. at all times on the trail. Regardless of upcoming checkpoints – remote or not remote.

All other checkpoints are confirmed and there are no changes.

Updates during the race

For friends and family at home there are several ways to follow an athlete. There will be updates in this news section, there is a link to the SPOT map and our results table that shows in and out times at checkpoints. In addition we will have news in our facebook group and also on Instagram.

Especially the SPOT map is great as several times per hour it will update the position of each ultra athlete. However, I do need to “warn” you that technical failure of a SPOT is possible. That is why we have our checkpoints and crew out there to make sure everyone is fine.

The right sleeping bags

Just a quick info re. the right sleeping bag for the MYAU. Our rule says that the sleeping bag needs to be rated to – 45° Celsius extreme temperature (by standard EN 13537). When this rule was written all companies made their ratings to this standard. However, this has changed by now. Especially non-European companies do not use this standard anymore. Very often now the value stated is the comfort rating. The easiest thing for you if you are in doubt about the sleeping bag you intend to take, is to contact me and ask. And please ask now. I am more than happy to look it up and give you feedback.

A good indicator is also the down fill. An expedition down bag for these kind of temperatures should have at least 1,200 g highest quality down fill. Obviously, the way the bag is designed also plays a role in it, e.g. the Carinthia bag we use for renting out has “just” 1,200 g down fill. However they are rather narrow with not too much extra space and an innovative feature that makes them so warm. Warmer than some bags that may actually have more down in it.

Also, keep in mind that used/older bags may have lost a lot of its loft. On more than one occasion I have had to tell athletes that the bag they want to use is not good enough anymore. It may have been when it was new … So, if you have an old bag – your own or from a friend – make sure the down still has enough loft. Your life may depend on it so at the gear check we have to be strict.

If you take a sleeping bag with synthetic fill, the weight of the insulation is not as easy to compare. But the company who made the bag should have some technical info that allows to judge if it is warm enough or not.

Sending in paperwork

I would like to remind all athletes signed up for MYAU 2018 who live in Europe to send the originals of all their forms to my German address (Robert Pollhammer, Isarstr. 23, 82499 Wallgau) by January 20th. If you don’t live in Europe you can either also send it to the above address or take the originals to hand in in Whitehorse. Anybody who sends me their originals, please take copies before you do so and take these copies with you to the Yukon (in case something gets lost in the mail).

Update to pre-race schedule

I updated the pre-race schedule. You will now already see what rooms at the Coast High Country Inn we use for handing out stuff, etc.

Important news for all marathon participants is that we will have a separate briefing for you! This will be on January 31st from 16:00 to 17:00, i.e. just before the banquet dinner. During that time marathoners can also take care of remaining paperwork and picking up the race bibb. That way locals do not have to come to the hotel twice. I hope this makes things easier for you. Any marathoners who do already want to get some paperwork out of the way before can (but don’t have to) do that on January 30th from 11:00 to 15:00.

For the full details please check the Race Info section.

Your multi-fuel stove does not work?

Many MYAU athletes use multi-fuel stoves. We recommend and rent out the Primus OmniLite Ti. Multi-fuel stoves are efficient and powerful. They get snow/ice melted quickly if need be. These stoves also are reliable when handled correctly and maintained well. However, any stove can have a problem at some point. In that case it is important that you know how to handle the situation. The following is a great video from Primus that shows you the basic trouble shooting procedures for Primus multi-fuel stoves. If you use a different product and don’t know how to clean or repair it, please check out the internet for similar instructions.

Buying gear in Whitehorse

If you want to buy some gear at Coast Mountain Sports in Whitehorse and you want to make sure that whatever you need is there for you, please email Corina Zumer ( Overshoes are a good example. Coast Mountain Sports have these and you may count on it. However, they may not have your size or preferred model. And the same may apply for other items you are interested in. If you contact Corina she can make sure whatever you need is ordered and/or put aside for you.

Check out our FAQ section

Fall is here and temperatures are getting colder. This usually means I get asked more and more questions about the upcoming MYAU, e.g. re. timings, flight bookings, accommodation, etc. Therefore, I want to just mention our FAQ section on the website. Anyone signed up for the race, please have a look at it. Also, if there are questions that you feel should be added, please do let me know.