Michele arrived at the Braeburn 100 mile finish line after 21h 56min. Only local athlete Justin Wallace managed to have a better time in 2012. Congratulations Michele! Really well done.
Later this morning we had to bring Virginia Sarrazin by ski-doo from Dog Grave Lake to Braeburn. She go frostbite on her toes. Luckily nothing that will last but enough to have to stop racing. Virgina is already back in her hometown Whitehorse.
Domenico Barbalace from Italy will also come out on ski-doo. Due to back problems and a bit of frostbite he pushed his SPOT help-button.
In the meantime, Florian Reiterberger from Germany is leading the field of 300 milers. He is on his way to Ken Lake where the crew is ready to welcome him. He said he would just take it easy ... Bavarian understatement I guess ...
Just heard from Dog Grave Lake that John Dennis also had to scratch or was told to better stop. He has got a chest infection and will travel south on ski-doo with Tony and Ross.
Everybody else seems to be doing okay right now.
The Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra (MYAU) 2016 started on time yesterday, at 10:30 AM at Shipyard’s Park in Whitehorse. It was very windy but relatively mild. The “warm” temperatures also meant that the trail was pretty soft at the beginning. But further down the track the ground got harder. So, great for marathon runners and our bikers. And even the xc-skiing was quite okay.
The marathon did indeed prove to be a fast race - the winner - David Eikelboom from Whitehorse came in to the finish at Rivendell Farm after 3 hrs 25 minutes. Of course cyclist Joel Hegner was first in the Mountain Bike Category with a winning time of 3 hrs 19 minutes. The trail was solid and the weather balmy with blue skies and sunshine. Who could ask for better conditions? It was only during the ride back to Whitehorse that marathon competitor Corey Nislow revealed he had just popped up from Vancouver for the day to do the marathon and was due on the afternoon flight home - how's that for confidence in running time - and so he should be with a fast time of 3 hours 58 mins. Love your dedication Corey! The full results are now in the results table now.
Once the marathoners had come through the rest of the competitors either stopped for a break at Rivendell or continued on - someone who wasn't going to stop was Michele Graglia aiming to finish the 100 miles in record time. As always the cyclists were ahead of the game and it soon became apparent that Florian and Tim were racing each other. As day light faded the temperatures dropped but not too drastically and by all accounts most people had a fairly comfortable night. And if they were lucky they may have seen some good Northern Lights along the trail. And so, on to day 2 ...
From tomorrow onwards MYAU participants can fill their fuel bottles with white gas at Coast Mountain Sports in Whitehorse. If you want to make use of this free of charge service please do bring your own fuel bottles as the gas will be poured from 4 litre canisters. Thank you to all Coast Mountain Sports staff for helping with this!
Unfortunately, there is no Primus winter gas because there have been customs issues again. Primus have changed the shipment process but it's still not working.
A great source for frequent news on the MYAU is our facebook group. It's also great because anybody who is a member can post updates, pictures, etc. If you do use facebook please join! It's fun to watch how the excitement is building up.
As we already expected, the trail will have more overflow than normal. With a bit of luck a lot of it will freeze by Feb. 4th. But I am sure there will be enough left. So, Neo Overshoes are strongly recommended.
There is likely also more ice. Therefore, everyone should have Yaktrax or similar in order to get some grip.
Right now it also looks like the Pelly River is so rough that we can't use it on the way from Pelly Crossing to Pelly Farm. It looks like we will be going out to Pelly Farm on the farm road and coming back on it again.
I may have said this before but I will say it again. All participants please read the rules and make sure you are familiar with them.
The SPOT units from Trackleaders.com are scheduled to arrive Feb. 3rd. So, it does look very likely that these will be handed out at the dinner rather than at the briefing.
Everyone please make sure you get the right batteries for them (see previous updates).
Once the race is on everyone at home just needs to click on the Trackleaders.com logo on our website to get to the page with the athlete's positions.
The following trail update just came from Gary who marked the river trail from Whitehorse to Rivendell Farm:
"I was out marking the river today. The warm weather last week added long sections of overflow on the Yukon and Tahkini river. Today I wish I had a jet ski and not my ski doo. This week is supposed to cool off and should be good. But I suggest neos or some sort of over boot for the overflow and be prepared for lenghty slippery, sloped ice sections. YAU trail never the same twice- live it!!!"
Not much longer now. Feb. 4th at 10:30 AM this year’s Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra will start. So far things are looking good. It is a bit warm and that does affect the trail conditions. However, it looks like it will not result in us having to change the start area. And since the forecast is for cooler temperatures again, we should be fine.
Gary has been out today for a first run of marking to Rivendell Farm. Stewart, Jo, Mike, Jessica and Robert Siefke were at Dog Grave Lake setting up that remote checkpoint. Snow on the trail there is very low in places and there is overflow.
Diane is preparing all other checkpoints and items which will be handed out to the athlete soon. Thank you Julie Pritchard for helping with this today!
So, it’s all falling into place. The athletes who already are here enjoy the relatively mild weather, training, shopping and relaxing before their great adventure. Anyone who is on their way or leaving for Whitehorse shortly I want to wish a safe journey!
There are no changes planned to the schedule:
February 1st, 2016
17:00 - 18:00 Hand-Out of the rental gear, Coast High Country Inn. If you can't be there during that time please leave a message for me at the front desk of the hotel or contact me beforehand and we will arrange for a different time.
February 2nd, 2016
12:30 - 15:00 First part of the YAU training course (indoor) - for signed up athletes only, Coast High Country Inn
17:00 - 21:00 Second part of the YAU training course, trails near Whitehorse, meeting point in front of the Coast High Country Inn; again, only for athletes who signed up for the training course
February 3rd, 2016
08:00 - 09:00 De-brief of the training course, Coast High Country Inn
09:00 - 10:30 Official trail briefing and hand-out of SPOT units for ALL athletes, Coast High Country Inn 11:30 - 14:00 Gear check for all participants who did not participate in the training course, hand-in of any missing paper work, hand-out of maps, race bibs, Coast High Country Inn
15:00 - 16:00 Briefing for volunteers, Coast High Country Inn
from 17:00 Pre-race dinner for all athletes and volunteers, Coast High Country Inn
February 4th, 2016
10:30 Start of the Yukon Arctic Ultra 2016, Shipyard's Park, Whitehorse
Paperwork in a race like this is important. So, I urge all participants to help us with this. When you come pick-up your maps, race bibs, etc. on Feb. 3rd from 11:30 to 14:00 please make sure you take the originals of all your paperwork with you. Unless you already sent the originals to me in Germany.
You will also be asked to sign the so called CARA waiver. This is a waiver from the Canadian Adventure Racing Association a necessary part in order for us to get insurance for the race. All waivers also must be signed by a witness.
If you have not signed up for the training course but would like to do it, please let me know asap. Otherwise, participation is not possible. If you participate I recommend you already in the morning prepare the kit you want to take along for the outdoor session. You do have from 15:00 to 17:00 to finalise your packing. But every year we have one or two participants who struggle to make it by 17:00. If you already did most of the packing before, you will be less stressed.
You do not need to take all your kit. I will check stove lighting, sleeping system and that you can build a wood fire. Of course you need a headlamp and the right clothing.
I have not been approached by anyone requiring vegetarian food. So, I assume that any vegetarians will have extra food as most of the checkpoint meals do contain meat.
Also, please keep in mind that for Dog Grave Lake you will need an expedition meal. We will serve soup upon your arrival. Just so that you get something warm into you. But that will not be enough.
In general, please keep in mind to eat and hydrate well. It will help you avoiding exhaustion, hypothermia and frostbite.
If you have any food allergies, make sure to ask about the respective meals. And take extra expedition meals or other food just in case.
I would like to remind all athletes that frostbite does result in disqualification. And even though right now we do not expect extreme temperatures, it does not have to be – 40 degrees C to get frostbite.
I also want to make everyone aware that our medical team is happy to help with any questions, looking at sore feet, etc. But they are not there to treat every little blister. They will give you advice and also help with bad blisters but we ask you to provide the necessary dressing yourself. Furthermore, they will not hand out painkillers to people continuing to run, xc-ski or bike. The medicine the team has is mainly for people who end their race and e.g. need a painkiller to make an evacuation by ski-doo more comfortable.
There is a chance we will not be handing out the SPOTs at the race briefing. I will only know then. Should that happen we will aim for distributing them at the pre-race dinner.
Please remember everything about the SPOTs that had been written in previous news updates (e.g. 911 button can only be pushed in a life threatening situation!). Also, do not forget to buy the right batteries.
Anybody using the deLorme inReach, I need the URL of your shared map. Please email as soon as possible.
For all those using a private SPOT, my cell phone for receiving SPOT text messages is 1-867-332-0698.
Marathon participants have to attend the briefing Feb. 3rd at 09:00. However, they do not have to attend all of the briefing. We will deal with the marathon first and then any athletes participating in this distance may leave.
Any marathon runners not requiring a transfer from the finish to Whitehorse please let me know by Monday if possible.
Drop bags can be handed in after the pre-race dinner until about 22:00. You can also take the drop bags with you to the dinner. Room for handing the bags in is the same we use for the dinner.
Please keep in mind that your drop bags
You can deposit things in your drop bags that you do not want to take with you anymore. As long as it is not something mandatory.
Marathoners can give us a drop bag for Rivendell Farm.
Please keep checking the news for updates!