Peter Thornton and David Hartley won our 100 mile race coming in today at 14:10. Alistair Cole and Tristan Brown came in 3rd at 17:15. All are from England. Congratulations guys!
Now we are just waiting for Robert Jeffery and Scott Carey. Their SPOT is currently not sending but when we checked on them today they were fine.
A lot has happened since the last update. I believe I had not mentioned that Thomas Zimmermann, Brady Kyle and Richard Charles decided not to continue and Andy Gregory also did not want to risk further damage to his knee. Another runner who did not want to go any further is Jethro de Decker. They all are back in Whitehorse. Only a few hours ago we had to decide that Jovica Spajic can’t continue due to frostbite on his nose and the tip of two fingers. That is really unfortunate because Jovica is a very nice guy and a super strong athlete. He also did have a big lead in the 430 mile foot category. However, a small frostbite can quickly turn into a major problems in these conditions and it is not worth taking the risk. Local runner Gillian Smith had to give up as well. Temperatures also took their toll on her. Nothing serious just simply exhaustion.
On the positive side, we are seeing some amazing performances out there, too. And hopefully from now on there will be less participants scratching. Current leader in the 430 mile race is German Bernhard Hasenbalg. We had to hold him for 4 hours at Ken Lake because of the amount of evacs further south. Right now he is resting in Carmacks in order to avoid another cold night. He said that last night was the coldest he has ever been in the Yukon. And Bernhard has had many cold MYAU nights in previous races already. Some of the remaining athletes looked really strong and as the race progresses we will start to report a bit more on each of them individually.
Okay. Time for another quick update.
It has been a cold last night and it is cold tonight. I should be used to it by now. In Rivendell Farm, when seeing the athletes come in, I always am very hopeful to see them all finish. However, especially in cold years a lot of them do struggle and we have high numbers of participants not reaching Braeburn on their own feet, skis or bike. This also was the case today. It started with Kevin Walker and Mark Wright who did not go beyond Rivendell Farm. Followed by Rejean Moreau who had stomach issues. When I thought, maybe that’s it, we got the „help“ messages one after the other. A first transfer with athletes who could not continue left for Whitehorse around 21:30. In this bus were Peter Mild, Michael Færgegaard, Torben C G Jensen, Nikolaj Pedersen, Jonathan Kattenberg, Gavin Clark, Palle Andersen, Hanno Heiss and Jørgen Leschly Thorsted. Reasons for them dropping out were pulled muscles, hip pain, back pain, breathing problems, etc. Of course they were all disappointed but safety and health are more important than reaching a finish line. Easy for me to say that of course but I think they all agree. It was great that you guys gave it a try and I wish you all a quick recovery. That also goes of course for Brady Kyle, Thomas Zimmermann and Magdalena Dombek who are resting at Braeburn. And Andy Gregory, Martin Zogg, Markus Kolly plus the athletes who had to scratch on day 1. Everybody else is hanging on in there. We have some athletes with SPOTs not sending. However, our checks by the crew were quite intensive. So, no reason to worry.
We had a really great first day! Cold but beautiful. The start was in time at 10:30 AM Shipyard’s Park.
Congratulations to all marathon winners and finishers! Local athlete Brendan Morphet came in at 14:13 and took first place. He was followed by Kevin Embacher (at 14:16) who is also from Whitehorse and Corey Nislow (at 14:18) who is from Vancouver. Overall rank 4 goes to Kristin Daniel (at 14:33) who was also the 1st woman in the marathon to arrive at Rivendell Farm.
For the athletes on the way to Dog Grave Lake and Braeburn the temps went down to – 30 degrees C. So far we have nobody else who needs to scratch. Fingers crossed it stays that way. Bernhard Hasenbalg arrived in Braeburn late last night. And I thought he „just“ wants to finish and take it easy. Oh boy … I was wrong. Good thing we have had crew in place at Braeburn Lodge and already are set up in Ken Lake. I am in Whitehorse and with a group of volunteers will hopefully leave in about 3 hours to be at the 100 mile finish line. Most of the action will be in Dog Grave Lake today. More news once I am set up in race HQ.
We did have three athletes who unfortunately had to stop their adventure. That’s Anton Hierschläger, Andrzej Gondek and Kim Walker. They are all fine. Dissapointed of course but no serious injuries or anything like that. Both Anton and Andrzej had problems with a recent injury coming back. Kim was very exhausted. All are in Whitehorse and recovering.
We already have a lot of photos and some videos in our facebook group. If you do not use facebook, we will also feature these photos and videos on here. It just takes us a bit longer.
Temperatures did go down to – 37 degrees Celsius in some places last night. As always this does cause problems for the athletes. Things that normally are not much of an issue turn into very big challenges. That is on top of the fact most of them have a lack of sleep and days on their feet, fatbikes and xc-skies are long. Therefore, we have had quite a few athletes having to call it a day. The good news is that there are no serious issues. We have had stomach problems, mild frostbite, hip issues and problems breathing.
Rejean Moreau is one of the athletes who had issues with his stomach and he was brought to Whitehorse by crew member Glenn Toovey. All other guides are bringing everybody else to Braeburn as I write this and for the rest of the day. These athletes are: Peter Mild, Nikolaj Pedersen, Jonathan Kattenberg, Torben Jensen, Thomas Zimmermann and Gavin Clark. I have two more on my list but I still need confirmation. Depending on how things go some of them may also stay in Dog Grave Lake.
In the meantime German fatbiker Bernhard Hasenbalg seems unstoppable. He is having a great time and may have us leaving for Carmacks tonight if he does not rest.