This is just one of many great photos that Derek Crowe took during this year's Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra. This one shows Jan Kriska, winner and holder of the new 300 mile record on foot (117 hours 26 minutes). For all of Derek's photos please go to his gallery.
Julie, Oliver and Jessie got into the Carmacks CP way before cut-off. And so did Kabasawa. Unfortunately, Kabasawa has got immersion foot with the risk of an infection. That's the initial diagnosis. He is resting now and we will have another look at it around midnight to decide if he can safely continue. The "J team" and Oliver want to get going again around midnight.
Florian is reaching the finish line as I write these lines. Which makes him the overall winner of the MYAU 2016 in the 300 miles. Not only am I very happy for Flori but also for MAXX Bikes as he is riding our special edition fatbike which was put together with our race in mind. Now we know it works.
Florian Reiterberger, overall winner of the MYAU 2016 300 mile race - copyright: Derek Crowe
The other two fatbikers, Tim and Wolfgang, are on their way to Pelly Farm. Jan Kriska, our leading athlete on foot is actually in front of them. I am sure all three will enjoy the stay at the farm.
Gavan is already more than half way to the farm and Bernadette is also heading that way. Initially I had thought that Gavan did not rest in Pelly but that was not what had happened. He did stop and rest. So, if Jan has got no injuries it will be difficult to take the first rank in the foot category away from him.
Gavan Hennigan - copyright Derek Crowe
Hugo Smith, Daniel Heon and Brian Bougourd are on their way to Pelly Crossing. Davide Lugato is brought there by snowmachine. It looks like he pushed too hard and got hypothermia. I should have more news in a couple of hours.
The remaining athletes are all on their way to McCabe. I have seen most of them today and they all looked good. I keep my fingers crossed the make it all the way to the finish. Their chances are really good.
This morning it was - 30 degrees Celsius and it has not warmed up a lot. However, all athletes are handling the cold very well by now.
Unfortunately, James Innes had to scratch. He got a ride in with our guides. Enrique made it on his on and a long time before cut-off but will likely not continue.
Everybody else is doing well. Florian is now on his way to Pelly Farm and if he does not run into any unexpected difficulties he should win. First on foot is Jan but there is a race now. When Gavan came to Pelly Crossing and realised Jan had just left he did not stop for long. It will be interesting to follow those two guys now.
Bikers Tim and Wolfgang are on their way to Pelly Crossing. 66 year old Wolfgang is amazing. The things he has done in his sporting life are pretty crazy - amongst them a Deca Triathlon (38 km swim, 1,800 km bike, 422 km run). How is that for a start?
Also going strong are Bernadette Benson and Davide Lugato. Both on their way to Pelly Crossing.
At 14:45 today fatbiker Florian reached Pelly Crossing. Since he really cold feet going through overflow he decided to get another good rest before he leaves for Pelly Farm.
Florian leaving Carmacks - copyright: Derek Crowe
Tim who is in second position got to McCabe a bit later. He will rest now, too. Everybody else still in the race is doing fine. Michael Haenel is struggling a bit with chafing but fingers crossed it won't stop him. Jan Kriska is leader in the foot category and currently also at McCabe.
Gavan Hennigan is not too far behind Jan. And behind him is Wolfgang Kulow on bike. Third in the foot category is currently Bernadette Benson. All of them are going really strong. Next are Davide Lugato and Hugo Smith.
Daniel Heon just left Carmacks at 19:55. Brian Bougourd is resting here and plans to leave at 4 AM. Everybody else is on the way to Carmacks and should make it before the cut-off tomorrow at 10:30 PM.
Brian Bougourd out on the trail - copyright: Derek Crowe
We have seen most athletes come into Braeburn today. Right now there is only 100 miler and xc-skier Thomas Keller still out there. He will be here a long time before cut-off. To take on the challenge of skiing in this event is a tough one. It seems obvious that skiing would be a great method of travel in the coldest and toughest ultra marathon in the world - there's plenty of snow and the trail is relatively flat - who wouldn't want to ski it? Well I can tell you the trail is not best for skiing - there are many places where it is so undulating that to get up a good, consistent rhythm for fast skiing is nigh on impossible. This is why the skiers often are slow and so we should applaud Thomas Keller for his patience and endurance on what can be a very frustrating trail.
For the 300 miles things are in full swing. Braeburn Lodge has been really busy for Steve and his fabulous crew of chefs, bringing out enormous burgers and cinnamon buns for hungry athletes. Last night headquarters was busy too with both cabins full of tired, snoring volunteers and guides and the office buzzing with journalists and photographers uploading their photos and stories.
Don Banks was in his element cooking the best pizza in the Yukon for a hungry bunch of guides (and Race HQ). There have been a small number of people who have had to end their race early due to medical issues - it seems unfair when we prepare so well for something only for our stupid bodies to let us down! But one's personal health and safety should always take priority over an event - after all the Yukon will still be here next year - as so many other returning athletes can testify - there's always another race another year.
So currently the bikers are in the lead. Florian already left for McCabe where he plans on getting a good rest. Tim is resting at Carmacks which is an indoor check point with some elements of luxury - this is one of the few check points where the athletes can take a shower. What a blissful though after travelling in the freezing cold for over 36 hours. :-) And if anyone has time they can have a curling match on the indoor curling rink!
News from Dog Grave Lake checkpoint is that it is now closed as all the athletes have come through and the crew there have packed it down and are back in to Braeburn ready for some more crewing of further checkpoints. No more reports of frostbite which is great.
Diane is in Carmacks where she is waiting for Jan Kriska who is our leading runner in the 300 mile race.