This is just a short new post. I promised the athletes I would create a pdf-file of my briefing notes and make these available for download. It’s a lot of information and does of course not include everything else that was talked about. For those of you not competing it may be an interesting to read, too. It gives you an idea what topics we covered.
The last days here in the Yukon have been very busy. Many athletes have arrived early to participate in the training courses, offered by Shelley Gellatly and Stewart and Jo Stirling. The feedback from the athletes has been really good. As athletes Maciej Zyto said to me today: „It’s almost as great as a race in itself!“
Parallel to the courses more and more crew have arrived and we have been busy preparing checkpoint material, finalising logistics, doing volunteer briefings, checking the trails, preparing markers, buying supplies and a lot more. Thank you all for the effort you have already put into making this another successful Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra.
All athletes who had not participated in a course are here now, too. Of course they are now anxious to get going. I am sure many sleds are being pack and re-packed as I write these lines. One more day and we all finally head north.
After a really long cold spell temperatures have warmed up considerably. In and around Whitehorse we have had – 15 to – 20 degrees C and tomorrow it may even be + 1 degree C. The warmer weather was accompanied by a lot of fresh snow and more possibly on the way before it will get colder again.
The marathoners may be lucky and actually run one of the warmest races we have ever had with temperatures between – 5 and – 15 degrees C. However, the warm weather comes with a price. Trails will be soft and there will be more overflow. Right now the first half of the marathon distance is soft and there is a good chance everybody will get their feet wet. So, all athletes please be prepared! At the trail briefing tomorrow we will have a final report and our crew will also go on the trail again immediately before the start for a last update. Possibly a lot of the overflow will be frozen again. The trail for the second half of the marathon looks very good.
The 100 milers and certainly the 300 milers may get it all – a tropical start going down to lows of – 40 a few days later.
One good news is that for the first time after many years the Pelly River trail is good enough for us to use it.
A big thank you to the Quest and the Canadian Rangers for the many hours of trail breaking!
Our SPOTs have arrived with quite a delay, i.e. today instead of last week. That is why the units were not handed out today. We will distribute the SPOTs after the briefing tomorrow instead.
I hope you had a great Christmas and wish you all the best for 2020!
Thanks to everyone who sent in their paperwork already. I am getting more on a daily basis. In a couple of weeks I will send out an overview that will show you what I have and what still is missing. That hopefully helps making the dealings with paperwork in Whitehorse as efficient as possible. I am still missing quite a few BICO certificates. If you have not done the online course, please do not forget it. Email me your certificates once you have it.
Now on to some more reminders and other little bits and pieces:
It’s of course way too early to say what trail conditions will be like. We have seen great winters with very cold temperatures and then all of a sudden it warmed up the week before the race which meant trail conditions became challenging. The Canadian Rangers have not decided which route they will take when approaching Whitehorse. If it is safe for us, we will stick to the trail we always use, i.e. even if the Quest goes via Lake Laberge, it is likely we stick to the traditional trail.
In general, be prepared for anything from hard packed snow, to icy surfaces, soft snow, fresh snow and areas with overflow. Think about how each surface will influence your feet/footwear. And of course also have the right solution for your feet if temperatures go down to the extremes.
The official gear check is January 29th from 11:30 to 14:00 at the Coast High Country Inn (Library). If you are doing one of the 4-day survival courses you do not need to come because your gear check is part of the course. All other ultra-athletes not doing a course please bring your full sleeping system, your expedition down jacket and your stove. Stove lighting will of course be outside – MYAU crew will show you where. Also, please no stove repairs or handling of fuel etc. inside the hotel!
Once again Primus is sponsoring your fuel and Coast Mountain Sports is helping with the distribution. So, to get fuel before the race, please take your fuel bottles to Coast Mountain Sports, tell them you are a MYAU athlete and they will then fill up your bottles. During the race we offer to refill your fuel bottles free of charge at Braeburn, Carmacks and Pelly Crossing.
Travelling drop bag
The 300 mile athletes please remember that we have a travelling drop bag, i.e. you will have access to one and the same drop bag at Braeburn, Carmacks and Pelly Crossing. This drop bag can have max. weight of 23 kg.
It is very important that you mark/label your bag with the words “Drop Bag” and your name and bib number. That way it can’t be mistaken for a crew member’s bag and accidentally taken to a place it should not be. The marking needs to be resistant to frequent handling and cold temperatures. I also recommend to not pack anything that breaks when it’s cold or weight gets put on (as we do pile the drop bags and store these outside in a trailer) and that you do not leave technical items like a camera or valuable things like wallet or passport in there.
I have received a lot of insurance paperwork and will get more in Whitehorse I am sure. I just want to remind you that I won’t be able to read all the small print. I get your insurance certificates and that means I can tick the box. It remains your job to make sure that your respective insurance is the right one for the participation in an event like the MYAU.
Please also remember to have your insurance information with you when you need to go to the hospital in Whitehorse. Also, you will need your credit card upon arrival at the hospital!
Labelling your food
Please remember to label all your food items with you race number.
Transfers for local marathon runners
Could all local marathon runners please send me a quick email to let me know if they need a transfer from the finish line back to Whitehorse?
As you all know, Muktuk is the finish line for our marathon. Locals are more than welcome to visit. To local athletes, please tell your friends and family who want to greet you at Muktuk the following:
- Dog trails cross the road down to the kennel. Drive slowly!
- When they arrive down at the kennel and it’s not obvious where to park, they should please approach Muktuk staff to ask where parking is possible. The road around the dog yard always needs to remain open.
- Visitors with dogs please check with Muktuk staff if it’s okay to take your dog out of the car. Under no circumstances may visitors leave their dog off the leash.
- Visitors who want to pet the Muktuk dogs may only do so after checking in with Muktuk staff.
Muktuk CP for athletes
We will keep the change implemented for 2019, i.e. athletes in the ultra-distances are not allowed inside any of the buildings. There are several reasons for this. For one, the moisture in clothing and shoes that was not too much of a problem outside, turns everything wet once inside a warm house. Also, as hard as having to stay outside is, it will serve as an early reminder what it means to sweat and then being forced to stop. We will have a very close look at how sweaty/icy the ultra-athletes arrive. If we notice that stopping outside at Muktuk gets you in trouble, we will only let you go again if you have shown us that you can handle the situation. This may include an enforced stay of up to 4 hours; time that will not be credited.
Remember: Try to avoid sweating and have enough spare clothing as drying things during the first 100 miles will be very difficult.
There will of course be a hot meal that you will get served outside. Please have your bowl and cutlery ready. Same for tea, hot water, coffee and hot chocolate. You can get a hot drink upon arrival and give us your flasks to be filled up with hot water. Please be patient if it takes a few minutes. There are times when a lot of people require large amounts of hot water at the same time, which can cause a bit of a delay.
We will have a wood fire outside but this won’t be large enough for more than 6 people to “enjoy” and certainly not sufficient for drying clothes.
Also, for the marathon athletes, please note that you initially will run past the turn-off where the ultra-runners leave the Takhini River to get onto the Muktuk property. To come as close to the marathon distance as possible, you will keep on running on the Takhini until you get to a turn-around spot. You then come back on that same trail and will leave the river when you reach the turn-off point onto the Muktuk property again.
Updates during the race
There are several ways that friends and family back home can follow the race and your progress:
- -On our website there will be a link to the SPOT Tracking page. Provided your SPOT works, your signal should be updating several times per hour and show on the map, together with some interesting stats.
- Also on the website there is a “Results” link that leads to a table showing all checkpoints and the “in” and “out” times for all athletes.
- Once again we are lucky to have the great photographers Mark Kelly and Joe Bishop with us. As images become available to us, these will be uploaded in the gallery on arcticultra.de.
- The most frequent written news will feature in our facebook group.
- We will also have a daily news update on arcticultra.de.
- Last but not least, we will upload images and news on Instagram.
With this update I just want to remind you of a few things, inform you re. SPOT and one other important subject. Also, I will now start sending out the final invoices.
Let me begin with the reminders:
- If you can’t come to the MYAU but still are on the race roster, please tell me asap. Cancellation fees apply soon – and this is regardless of you having paid the final invoice or not. The only way you can avoid cancellation fees is if you email me.
- Between now and January 15th you can get your Medical Certificate and Medical Information organized and send the originals to the mailing address below. If you have not done so already, please also send along the information on your insurance cover for the race and the originals of your Entry Form (pages 3 to 6 of your Application & Waiver) and your Standard Release Form Actor/Model (page 11):Robert Pollhammer
GermanyRemember, please take copies of any originals you send and take these copies with you to the Yukon!The only exception to this are entrants from North America or other countries outside the EU where there is a chance the mail is too slow. For those of you where this applies, please scan the forms and email these to me. Then please take the originals to the Yukon and hand these in there (January 28th, 2020 between 09:00 – 12:00, in the library of the Coast High Country Inn).
- On the insurance cover you get, I want to repeat that I won’t be looking into the detailed and small print info of it. Be sure whatever insurance you get, that it covers your participation in an event like the MYAU.
- Remember to have your Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for Canada
- If there is important gear you are planning on buying in Whitehorse, please make sure to get in touch with Corina from Coast Mountain Sports to reserve what you need. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Make sure you check customs information about the type of food you are taking along. There are a number of types of food that you will not be able to bring into Canada.
- Especially for the veterans: please make sure you read the rules again as certain things since your last MYAU may have changed.
- You will get free fuel at Coast Mountain Sports to get you started (just go there with your empty fuel bottle before the race) and we will re-supply fuel at Braeburn, Carmacks and Pelly Crossing. So, there should not be any need for having fuel in your drop bag.
- No trail checks at night and no response to SPOT „Help“ messages at night.
So much for some important reminders.
SPOT and how we use it:
SPOT satellite tracking devices are mandatory for all ultra-distances, i.e. 100 and 300 miles. As with any technology, there are pros and cons. But overall the positive aspects are more than the negative ones.
If the tracking function is active a SPOT regularly sends its position via satellite. Thus we know where you are and so do friends and family back home. During the race a link to the map will be placed in a prominent position on our website.
In addition, the SPOT allows you to send a „Help“, „911“, „OK“ and a „Custom“ message. The main reason we have SPOTs is for their 911 function. And thankfully, so far it has only been used a few times. The 911 button to us means there is an absolutely life threatening situation. This also means if there is no life threatening situation, IT CAN’T BE PUSHED! Please keep in mind that the cost for a 911 rescue operation can be enormous and it has to be paid by you or your insurance. Obviously, if life is at risk it just has to be done. But if you are lost, tired, exhausted or have any other problem that a good rest and common sense can solve, do not push that button.
If a good rest is of no help, there is a button on the SPOT that is called exactly that: „Help“. It is a signal to the race organization that you do have a problem and want to end your race then and there. But otherwise you are fine and will wait for us to come.
If the „OK“ button is pushed, it means exactly that, too. You show us that you are fine and are having a good time. There is no limit to how often you can push this button.
Last but not least, the „Custom“ message. It MUST BE PUSHED if you have a longer rest between checkpoints. It shows us that you are not moving but there is nothing wrong.
The cons of the SPOT are that of course sometimes athletes use the „Help“-button when they really could have solved the problem themselves. Or they decided to use that button rather than going back to a checkpoint. Mind you, if you can’t walk anymore, that’s fine. Push it. But being tired is no reason. Please just take a good rest and decide then. Because if we have to „rescue“ someone who is actually perfectly fine and at the same time something serious happens, it is bad to have resources bound.
Another con is that it’s technology and it does not always work. Usually this is due to not operating the SPOT correctly and/or using wrong batteries. But it also may be technical failure. It means we don’t get a signal and people back home start to worry. In most cases, race headquarter knows what’s going on, e.g. because we got in-/out times of a checkpoint or just recently had contact with the athlete.
To sum it up, the safety that SPOT brings to the race make it worth the while. The rental fee (tracking service, shipment and set-up included) is EUR 50.00/CAD 70.00 per unit. And in order to solve the problem with the wrong batteries, since 2019 each rental SPOT will be delivered with batteries. One set of 4 AAA Energizer Lithium Ultimate (model # L-92) for the 100 miles and two sets for the 300 miles. The charge per set of batteries is EUR 8.95/CAD 12.95. This will be invoiced, together with the rental SPOT fee, before the race.
If you bring your own SPOT, there is a set-up fee of EUR 20.00/CAD 29.00 per unit and you can pre-order batteries or bring your own. All athletes who bring their own SPOT were asked let us know. If we have not heard from you we will assume you need a rental unit and we will order one for you.
All athletes who bring their own SPOT please note that you should create and save a separate „Message Contact Profile“ for MYAU. Under that contact profile, we recommend you do not include family at home on either type of distress message (Help & SOS) as they may worry when there is nothing to worry about. Inclusion of family on the Check-in/OK message is fine. Within the contact profile you need to define and include recipients for the Check-in/OK message, which in the past has been, „Still smiling“ (this is best programmed to send only to email); Custom Message, which has been used for, „I’m taking a bivy“ (email only as well); „Help“ should be both email and text. SOS has no email option. You program a phone number only. IMPORTANT: There is a notes section for SOS, and it should read like this: „User is part of a human-powered race on the Yukon Quest Trail. If SOS is being transmitted, please phone the primary SOS contact directly, as for the purpose of the race, use of SOS is defined to mean life or death. Race central # (contact = Jo Davies) at tbc. phone number. Race director, who will at times be out of cell phone range on trail cell phone = tbc. NOTE: tbc. = Cell for primary Jo Davies.“ You do not want GEOS emergency response center to waste time calling family. You want race central to be the first call.
If you are bringing your own SPOT we will need to get your ESN-Number which is in the battery compartment and the URL to your shared link page.
Since 2019 we are not able to accept a private Garmin inReach as an alternative to a SPOT. The inReach is a great product but it’s battery was not made for extensive use in extremely cold temperatures and we have had too many issues with it. You are of course more than welcome to bring it along as a back-up means of communicating, e.g. instead of a sat-phone.
Now I want to focus on one important safety aspect of the race. And that is:
Avoid sweating as much as possible!
This is a lot easier said than done. It takes an enormous amount of discipline to continuously remind yourself of that and then also act accordingly. You may feel that you have found a great rhythm and, sure, you feel a bit of sweat but things are going great. So, why stop? Well, you may feel great for the moment but when temperatures drop you could get into serious trouble. In a worst case scenario it could mean you will suffer from hypothermia and die. And don’t forget, you may not have to stop but maybe you run into someone with a problem and you are forced to stop. Or something on your sled breaks and you are forced to stop.
None of you should wear your heavy expedition down jacket while you are on the move! If you are wearing it, it’s a first sign something is not right. Obviously, if you have to wear it in order to avoid cold stress and hypothermia, you have no choice. But you then really, really have to be careful not to sweat in it. Ask yourself why it is that you need your expedition down jacket while moving. Have you been drinking and eating enough? Should you get some rest?
The reason why you need to keep your expedition down jacket dry is for those times when you stop and your body immediately generates less heat. You may need it while handling your gear before you sleep and/or you may need it inside your sleeping bag to get some more insulation.
However, it’s not only important to keep your expedition down jacket dry. You also need to keep your sleeping bag and other insulated jackets/pants and mid-layers as dry as possible. Breathability and ventilation are key. If even great breathability and ventilation don’t help and you get hot, it’s time to change layers.
Be sure to have enough dry back-up clothing to get you safely from one checkpoint to the next. When you get to a checkpoint that has got the capability to dry things, please approach our crew to help you.
About drying clothing at Dog Grave Lake, like in 2019 there will not be a „drying tent“. There are several reasons for this:
- The quality of the heat to efficiently dry a lot of gear is just not there. Some people who get their gear close to the stove may get okay drying times but everyone else will have to wait very long.
- If gear is too close to the stove or falls onto the stove it may burn – and depending on what item this is, it may mean „end of race“.
- There is also a scenario where gear could catch fire and then eventually the entire tent with all the gear in it burns down. Again, „end of race“ and a lot of anger for many athletes.
- Risk of athletes confusing someone else’s gear for their own (has happened several times).
So, your number one goal needs to be to keep your stuff as dry as possible at all times and even more so when approaching the remote checkpoints Dog Grave Lake and Ken Lake. If you get to these places and essential clothing (that you have no dry back-up for) or your sleeping bag is wet, do not hide it. Approach our crew as we can’t let you continue. We will then try to dry your gear but you may get a time penalty and have to wait for a long time. That’s at Dog Grave Lake and Ken Lake.
At checkpoints that are not remote it’s easier to dry things. Again, please approach the respective checkpoint crew and we will help.
If you have any doubts feel free to ask any time.
Athlete updates also go out as emails. If you signed up for the MYAU 2020 and did not receive the email, please check your SPAM-filter and if it’s not there do get in touch. Maybe there is a mistake in the email address I have on file.
So, here is some important information for your preparations:
- Over the last few weeks a few athletes have had to cancel their entry. And from a couple more I know they may have to change plans. If you have not been in touch with me but already know that you can’t come, please let me know asap.
- Please remember to get/check your eTA.
- Many of you are MYAU veterans. If you have not done so already, please have a look at the rules. Some things had changed for this year’s race (e.g. mandatory gear and drop bags) and there still may be minor changes for 2020.
- Montane are once again offering a 20% discount for MYAU athletes. If you do not have your discount code already, please let me know via email and I will send it to you.
- For the first time in 2019, MYAU participants had to do the BICO video tutorials and get their free online BICO certificate. Feedback has been really good. So, we will keep this measure. All ultra-distance athletes please go to https://bicorescue.com, get your certificate done and email me a copy by mid-January. This is MANDATORY, i.e. without a certificate you can’t participate.
- Many of you already made rental gear reservations. If you know you want to rent something and have not told me already, please do so asap. That way I can react if there is a shortage of anything.
- If you want to buy anything locally from Coast Mountain Sports in Whitehorse, please make sure you send your email to Corina (email@example.com). They are happy to reserve anything you need for you. Don’t make it too short notice as they may have to order product.
- All MYAU ultra-distance athletes will once again get a SPOT for tracking. More information about this in my next news update. If you take a private SPOT, please let me know by end of next week.
- Private inReaches can be taken as a back-up means for communication but will not be accepted anymore as a substitute for a SPOT.
- If you need to or want to do one of the two survival courses and have not signed up, please do so asap.
As of now a lot of the new Montane winter product is available. Some more is coming in the next few weeks. If you want to check it all out, please visit www.montane.co.uk.
Here are some of my favourites:
The Prism Jacket is a true classic and one of my all time favourites. In the Alps where I live it’s probably the jacket I wear the most all winter. It uses weather resistant PERTEX® QUANTUM, 100% recycled 40 g/m² PrimaLoft® Silver insulation and upgraded with a lightweight nylon lining. The Prism Jacket has a climbing helmet hood and good pocket options. Stuffing inside its hand pocket means it packs down small so it can be kept in your pack for a warm, windproof and weather resistant layer in almost any mountain weather. It weighs 390 g (size M) and the RRP is EUR 149.95.
When breathability is key! Lined with super packable high loft POLARTEC® Alpha Direct insulation throughout, the Hydrogen Extreme Jacket is designed for fast paced activities in cooler conditions. The supreme breathability of the PERTEX® QUANTUM AIR outer shell offers all day comfort, whilst the DWR finish will still shed light rain. It weighs 545 g (size M) and the RRP is EUR 224.95.
I love my Wolf Hoodie but sometimes I could do without the hood. So, it’s great to see that Montane now also offer a jacket version (without the hood). The Wolf Jacket has been designed for use during high-output start-stop activities when thermal regulation is required. The POLARTEC® Thermal Pro® Hi-Loft provides exceptional comfort and warmth when climbing, mountaineering and hiking in cold conditions. It weighs 400 g (size M) and the RRP is EUR 134.95.
The Primino range has bee a great success for Montane. Blending the remarkable properties of Merino wool and PrimaLoft®, this baselayer is built for active use in cold conditions. Premium Merino wool draws vapour sweat away from the body while high-quality PrimaLoft® yarns wick liquid sweat across the outer surface, allowing it to dry quickly. A lightweight PRIMINO® mesh is used in panels across the back and under the arms for enhanced breathability and wicking. With deep front zip for venting which is offset to avoid irritation around the mouth, an under-helmet hood and thumb loops, the PRIMINO® Hybrid Alpine Hoodie has a technical feature set designed for layering in high alpine settings. There is also a women’s version available. The men’s version weighs 197 g (size) and the RRP is EUR 94.95.
Montane has got an incredible range of super functional glove. The new Alpine 850 Down Mitt closes the gap when it comes to mitts for the extreme cold. Filled with 850+ Allied Feather & Down water resistant fluorocarbon-free HyperDry™ down it provides extreme warmth for high mountain and expedition use. The PERTEX® QUANTUM together with a reinforced palm and high wear areas provides the ideal balance between durability and low weight. It weighs 236 g (size M) and the RRP is EUR 99.95.
These are just some highlights. Please check out our gear list for more Montane product that is great for our race and any other cold weather adventure.
The Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra 2020 will start in Whitehorse on January 30th. It will be the 17th edition and distance available are marathon, 100 and 300 miles. The next time we offer the 430 mile race will be in 2021.
The entry forms are ready and as of now it is possible to sign up. If you want to get the Application & Waiver please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entry fees will go up after the end of May and then again after the end of August. So, if you are certain you want to participate, it makes sense to enter before end of May. The difference between the early entry fee and the entry fee for those who sign up by end of November is quite significant.
The 16th Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra is history.
After the race I often get asked if I am happy about how things went. Knowing that everyone is safe, the answer is „yes, I am happy“. However, I also always think about the athletes who were not able to reach their respective finish lines. To all those who had no luck this time I want to say that it was great to have you with us. Whatever the reasons were that you could not continue, I hope you are recovering well and that the MYAU crew can welcome you again in one of the next editions!
Steve Page from St. Albert, Canada, was not even able to get to the start line. His plan was to drive to Whitehorse. After 20 hours of driving a road closure due to an avalanche meant he could not arrive in time. To make things worse he then even got in a bad accident and judging by the pictures of his truck, he is lucky to have walked away from it. Hopefully, he will join us next year!
The weather leading up to the MYAU was all over the place. After a cold spell it warmed up again and just in time for February 3rd it had cooled off considerably. Having extreme temperatures on day 1 almost always results in many athletes not being able to continue after day 2.
But first things first. All but one of the marathon runners were able to finish. As I had already mentioned in a news update, 3 athletes actually went the wrong way towards the end due to a misunderstaning amongst the crew. They all still did finish and were credited the time they lost. Once again, my apologies for the error.
Considering how cold it was, the marathoners did really well! I have seen a lot of super happy finishers at Muktuk Adventures. It was a great pleasure to have you with us! I will soon announce the donation we will give to Little footprints. Big steps – as we give 1 CAD/km run by our marathon runners to this great charity.
Some ultra athletes had to stop at CP1. All others continued on to Dog Grave Lake. On the way to this checkpoint we parked an RV with medical team members Trish and Sarah. It was an „exit point“ for those getting in trouble in an area that is a bit of a cold spot. Two athletes made use of this opportunity to get to safety. Two more stayed near the RV just in case and decided to call it a day the next morning.
The crew at Dog Grave Lake did a great job in this remote area of the trail. It got busy and unfortunately more athletes had to scratch at or near that checkpoint. Here we also had our worst case of frostbite. The athlete affected was Tiberiu Useriu from Romania. Tiberiu is fine but the injury was bad enough to require a helicopter transport and subsequent treatment in hospital. He has been home for some time now and I have not emailed with him again since his departure. It is my understanding that he made the simple mistake of not stopping and dealing with his feet when he should have. Since Tiberiu is a very experienced cold weather runner (he won the 6633 three times in a row), one of the lessons learnt must be that nobody can escape the cold. Not only at the MYAU it’s actually often the experienced athletes who get in trouble. So, I urge all future participants to be very careful no matter how much experience they bring to the start line. I wish Tiberiu the best possible recovery and great success with his project of creating the Via Transilvanica that he works for with so much passion!
We also got reminded just how important the mental aspect is in the MYAU. Russ Reinbolt (USA) talked about it in a very interesting interview he and Pat had with the CBC. I would dare say that all MYAU participants are super well prepared physically. Often it’s the mental challenge that becomes an issue – to stay calm as much as possible and to keep reminding yourself to constantly monitor each and every little thing. Let alone all the difficulties that come up along the way and not only require physical strength but also incredible will power.
Just like the marathon, the 100 mile race always seems to be over in a heartbeat. The winner, David Brabec (Canada) arrived at the finish after 23:42. Montane athlete Pablo Criado Toca (Spain) and Brady Kyle (Canada) placed 2nd and 3rd. Out of 11 who started in Whitehorse 6 were able to make it to Braeburn Lodge.
Compared to the 40 athletes in the 430 mile distance, we had the relatively small number of 6 participants in the 300 mile race. All of them faced an extremely challenging trail between Braeburn and Carmacks. The main problem was lack of snow. Thus the participants had to drag their pulk sleds over roots and all kinds of other obstacles. Most athletes who still were in the race at that time made the Carmacks cut-off which is 4 days and 12 hours. But we did have more people scratching at or before Carmacks.
The next part of the trail was easier. Still for some participants McCabe Creek was the end of their journey. Amongst them Shelley Gellatly (Canada) due to frostbitten fingertips and Micheal Faergegaard (Sweden) because of knee issues.
3 athletes were still in the 300 mile race at this point in time. In the lead Marianne Heading (UK), followed by Gareth Hardcastle (UK) and Ahmad Fathi Junaidi (Brunei Darussalam). And this is also the order in which they crossed the finish line.
At this point, the 430 mile race had been reduced to 14 athletes. Then Enrico Ghidoni (Italy) had to give in to the pain his achilles were causing him in Pelly Farm. The Italian had done the almost impossible in previous years, which was to do the 430 mile race in all three disciplines and each time he won. I am pretty sure that nobody else will ever be able to do that again. So, it’s safe to say that Enrico is a MYAU legend. It was his last ultra of this kind. He said he is now ready to „retire“. However, he will come back in the summer to visit the Yukon again. As he put it when he said good-bye: „Friends forever!“
Not too long after Enrico, Pat Cooke-Rogers (UK) had to scratch on her way to Scroggie Creek. Both in 2017 and 2015 she reached Dawson with her fatbike. This time it just was not meant to be as she had problems keeping her feet warm.
The remaining 12 athletes made it to Dawson. Scott Donatelli (Canada) from Carmacks onwards had to really push himself to continue on. Each time he left a checkpoint he kept telling crew that at the next checkpoint he would stop. I am glad he found the strenght to keep on believing in himself, as in the end it got him a finisher medal.
For Jessie Thomson-Gladish (Canada) it was super tough, too. After having finished the Dawson race twice on foot, she had opted for xc-skis this time. A discipline I do not recommend but I guess in a way that is also then an extra challenge. And she managed to get to Dawson on her „misery sticks“ even though she had doubted it many times.
Gillian Smith (Canada) was also amongst the finishers. It was her second try and even though she had shin splints and a sore wrist she made it and was welcomed by family, friends and crew!
Like Gillian, Scott Thomson (Australia) was there to finish unfinished business and it was great to see him succeed.
Angus Currie (UK) and Alexander Allen (UK) finished as a team. Only one other team had ever managed to do that before them. What was so great about those guys, was their incredibly good mood. No matter what the MYAU threw at them they were always smiling, laughing and enjoying it. At least when we saw them … The same goes for Javed Bhatti (UK) and Joaquin Candel (USA). Always super friendly and going at a steady pace without any major issues.
With Magdalena Paschke (Germany) we had another female athlete giving it a second try. In 2017 she had to stop very early on. This year she was super strong. I don’t know how she actually managed to pull her heavy sled all this way. She is such a lightweight but there was no holding her back and at the finish line she had enough energy to make a dance of joy with the medal in her hand. This makes her and Uwe (her husband who did the 430 in 2017) the only couple where both have a 430 mile finisher medal haning on the wall.
MYAU veteran Laura Trentani (Italy) was also incredibly strong, placing 3rd overall and 1st in the women’s category.
First to arrive in Dawson was Thierry Corbarieu (France) who is one of those few athletes in the world who can go fast on very little sleep and not get in trouble. In the end he was of course tired, too. But just a day after his finish he already walked around as if he had just arrived in the Yukon.
Not too far behind Thierry came Christof Teuscher from the US. Like Thierry he had been able to keep a good pace and with relatively little rest.
Congratulations to you all! And once again thank you to all athletes for coming!
For the detailed results please check out the results table.
A big thank you goes to all the crew members and volunteers who once again helped make the MYAU such a very special event. Thank you Diane, Julie, Anja, Bernhard, Fritz, Tamara, Sarah, Trish, Eleanor, Ellie, Rachel, Kate, Callum, Daniel, Gary R. and Gary V., Jeff & Jeff, Glenn, Spencer, Tony, Josh, Jean-Marc, Ross, Robert S., Mayra, Pam, Stewart and Jo.
Thank you Yann and Thilo for your great films and thank you Joe and Mark for your incredible photos.
Thank you also to our HQ and checkpoint hosts Don from Scuttlebutt Lodge, Muktuk Adventures, Braeburn Lodge, Bernard and his company Yukon Wilderness Fishing (Ken Lake), Carmacks Community Center, Jerry and Kathy Kruse (McCabe Creek), Selkirk First Nations (Pelly Crossing), Sue, Dale, Fabian and Woofers from Pelly Farm!
Thank you Yukon Quest and Canadian Rangers!
Last but not least, thank you to Primus and our local supporters Tourism Yukon, Coast High Country Inn, Downtown Hotel, Driving Force, Total North, Yukon Yamaha, Fraserway RV, Coast Mountain Sports and Atlin Mountain Coffee Roasters!
I am already getting many emails about 2020. Please give me about 2 weeks. Then I should have everything ready.
Mark Kelly, one of our two MYAU photographers this year, has set up a section of his website for access to his images. You will find it at www.depthoffield.ca/myau2019
There are two galleries: Low Resolution and High Resolution. Low Res is suitable for small prints and web sharing and High Res is suitable for medium, large and extra large prints and photo books. Both galleries allow for purchasing of non-commercial use downloads. Prints and books can be shipped internationally.
There are also some coupon codes that you may be interested in:
- Purchases over $75 use the code MYAU10 for 10% off your order
- Purchases over $150 use the code MYAU20 for 20% off your order
- Purchases over $300 use the code MYAU30 for 30% off your order.
If you have a need for commercial use of the images, please feel free to contact Mark directly at email@example.com.
When sharing images online or with friends and family, please credit © Mark Kelly Photography
The Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra 2019 is over. This is the final video with more impressions from Dawson City and our athletes on those long last miles to the finish line:
Episode 7 from the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra Race
Gepostet von Montane am Samstag, 16. Februar 2019