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.
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.
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 1-867-668-2777. Race director, who will at times be out of cell phone range on trail cell phone = 1-867-334-7629. NOTE: 1-867-334-6129 = Cell for secondary Diane Patrick."
If you are using a private DeLorme inReach please implement as much of the above as possible - whichever part can be used as input in their system.
Regarding fuel pick-up at the Coast Mountain Sports, staff is ready now to help any MYAU athletes. Who needs liquid fuel can pick up 2 litres. You just need to bring your own bottles please! If you think you need more, please purchase the rest. You can put fuel in drop bags. Just make sure that the bottles you use are absolutely leak proof. Primus winter gas is available, too. Please everyone who needs it take two canisters. They have the small and the large size. You can take either one. When you go to Coast Mountain Sports for fuel, please go to the counter and tell them you are with MYAU (do not just pick the fuel off the shelves, as only staff knows what was allocated to us).
A large number of local athletes so far have only sent in their paperwork via email. This is just a quick reminder that we need the originals of all forms on February 3rd between 11:00 - 15:00 when we deal with paperwork, hand-out of maps, race bibs, etc. at Coast High Country Inn (Room: B1).
That of course also goes for all other athletes who yet have to hand something in.
For those of you who yet have to pack their luggage and are flying the next couple of days. Please put a bit of clothing in your carry-on luggage. Most things have arrived with the athletes at Whitehorse airport so far but there are some exceptions. And even though Air Canada has managed to get the missing luggage to Whitehorse pretty quickly it's good to have some clothes for changing and whatever else you need right there with you.
Please note that all rental gear will be handed out February 2nd from 5:00 to 6:00 PM in a room on the ground floor in the Coast High Country Inn (please ask at reception, which room it is exactIy). Some of you already informed me that you can’t be there and we arranged for another time. I also don’t mind handing out gear before that. In case you run into in the hotel, please feel free to ask and we can see if we find a time.
Regarding the rental procedure there is one small change this year. Generally, I have to say that almost all athletes do take very good care of their rented products. However, there are exceptions to the rule and it is of course a bit complicated to deal with afterwards. That is why any rental gear will now be handed out with a form that needs to be filled in and signed. In this form it will be recorded that the gear given out is 100% without fault. And if a sled bag would have a hole that has been repaired it will also be written down. Kind of like when you rent a car and confirm the state you receive it in. If there is a new damage it will depend on how bad it is as to how much I will charge. The most costly one would be a hole in your sleeping bag. So, please be careful when resting or sleeping next to a wood fire. You will find more useful care instructions on the form and I hope you agree with me that this makes sense. Not only in your interest but also in the interest of all athletes who will rent the equipment after you and also will want it to be in perfect condition.
Talking about rental gear, please take great care when you are handling your SPOT, e.g. when you attach it to something or take it off and how you attach it. On a couple of occasions athletes lost their SPOTs. Luckily so far these always have been found. If SPOT can't be found again, the full RRP would have to be paid by the athlete.