This morning I sent an email to all athletes currently on the race roster of the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra 2021. Just in case an email did not get through and in order to inform all those of you interested in signing up, I am also writing an update for our website.
I have been informed that there is likely no change regarding travel restrictions before spring. This would mean that there can only be travel without self-isolation within the bubble of Yukon, BC, NWT and Nunavut. All other Canadians have to self-isolate upon arrival. International tourists would not be allowed in even if they were willing to self-isolate. Of course there is a chance that this changes, e.g. if economic pressure requires a different approach or some other development takes place and governments change their current strategy. However, this very likely would be too late for our planning. Therefore, I have decided to cancel the MYAU 2021.
BUT I am looking at alternatives for those of you interested:
For athletes from the Yukon and rest of Canada I am evaluating if I can put on a race that is slightly different. One of the options is that we move in stages because that would allow us to keep everyone a bit closer together, i.e. avoid athletes spreading out over 100 or more miles. It could be that this race is on the Quest trail or parts of it. Or it could be that the trail would be in different areas. And we would likely have wall tent camps as checkpoints to stay away from communities. There are a lot of things that still need to be considered. So, at the moment I have the following question for all Canadians:
1) Would you want to participate in an alternative race in the Yukon?
2) If so, does it have to be on the same dates as we had originally planned?
Tomorrow I will post a survey on this in our facebook group. Also, to find out if anybody not signed up would be interested. If you are not on facebook, feel free to send me an email.
There are two major issues that yet need to be resolved/considered. One, is the question if the bubble for travel without isolation will be extended to all of Canada. Two, is the question if I would be allowed to travel – I am currently trying to find out on a federal level, as Yukon authorities told me if I am allowed into Canada, they would let me come in – if I self-isolate for 2 weeks.
For all Europeans and other nationalities who are allowed to travel to this country, I have started organising an alternative race in Swedish Lapland. I am in touch with a community that is right below the Arctic Circle and they love the idea of us going there. I am travelling there in 2 weeks and already am in touch with local contacts to deal with details. When I am back I can announce the location and I would try to be ready for entries/transfers of entries by end of October.
The idea of this race would be the same as the regular MYAU. Max. distance would be around 300 miles. If we find enough trails we will go longer. More snow likely means slower speeds. Whilst in the Yukon extreme lows can be around – 55 ° Celsius, in this race it would be more like – 35° Celsius. Regular temps should be around – 10 to – 20° Celsius. That means less danger of serious frostbite injuries.
Again, I would like to ask all of you if:
1) you would want to participate in this alternative race?
2) If so, does it have to be on the same dates as we had originally planned for MYAU?
I will post a survey on the above in our facebook group, too. Feel free to give feedback and ask questions there. If you are not on facebook you can of course write me an email.
To sum it up, things are challenging but I am not ready to give up just yet. I realise there are more important things in the world but being out there and doing what we love is one way of dealing with this crazy world of ours. And the feedback I got so far was that you really all are looking forward to a great winter adventure. That’s why I will keep on trying.