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Tibi Ușeriu has finished the Yukon Arctic Ultra race and said The road seemed at one point without end

Fabian Imfeld from Switzerland was able to maintain his comfortable lead all the way to the finish line. After a stay at Pelly Farm that Fabian considers his home away from home, he went back to the Pelly Crossing Finish line. It has been really great to see him come in. All the way he had done very well. Always positive and in a good mood. Fabian had already been with us last year and had experienced issues with a bit of frostbite which meant he could not finish. Not this time! Congratulations!

Tiberiu Useriu has got a similar story. He tried the 430 last year and got very bad frostbite – even though he had already considerable experience with cold weather races. I was very happy to see that, instead of trying to overtake Fabian, which I am sure he wanted with all his heart, he actually took the rest his body needed. Lesson learned. Tibi finished. Zero problems with frostbite this time.

The Romanian also has a very interesting story and I think it is okay if I share it here. In his home country he is famous for  his athletic achievement but also his life change. The short version is that he had a very difficult youth and I am sure a lot of people would have thought that his entire life would go the wrong way. A lost case for society. He stumbled and fell. Tibi realised he needed to change and he got up again. Now he is helping kids in Romania who are faced with the same or similar problems to get back on track. Doing these races he can show them that anything is possible. And he is leading a project with a great team of people to create a permanently marked long distance hike trail in Romania. An exciting project that creates jobs and will help with tourism. Congratulations, Tibi! And good luck with your work!

As those two were approaching the finish line we had still hopes that Patrick O Toole and Paul Deasy from Ireland would also get to Pelly. However, Patrick had to be pulled at McCabe due frostbite on a finger. Paul originally left that checkpoint but about 10 km in he experienced stomach problems and just could not get warm. So, he made the right decision and did not continue.

All athletes and crew arrived safely back in Whitehorse. Some hours ago we had a very nice little party at the Coast High Country Inn. Trail stories were exchanged and I have seen a lot of happy faces.

Safe trip home everyone!

(02/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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Yukon Artic ultra 300 miler

Yukon Artic ultra 300 miler

The Yukon Arctic Ultra is the world's coldest and toughest ultra! Quite simply the world's coldest and toughest ultra. 430 miles of snow, ice, temperatures as low as -40°C and relentless wilderness, the YUA is an incredible undertaking. The Montane® Yukon Arctic Ultra (MYAU) follows the Yukon Quest trail, the trail of the world's toughest Sled Dog Race. Where dog...

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Ultra runners are prepared for 2020 Yukon Arctic Ultra

On January 30 at Shipyards Park, more than 60 athletes from 16 nations will converge on Whitehorse to begin the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra, one of the coldest, toughest, ultramarathons in the world.

Since 2003, the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra (MYAU) has been held every February along the Yukon Quest Trail – the route of the 1,000-mile sled dog race.

A cumulative total of nearly 900 hardy souls have toed the start line in Whitehorse next to the Yukon River to cover their choice of four distances along this brutally cold and challenging trail, with a marathon, 100 and 300 mile races.

Every second year there is also a 430 distance, which is the case again in 2021. In 2020 an expected 65 athletes from 16 countries will compete, with more than half signed up for the 300-mile race.

The 300-mile race sees athletes travel to Pelly Farm, there they will leave the river to turn around and go to Pelly Crossing on the farm road.

“Once again we have an amazing race roster with great athletes from all over the world,” said Robert Pollhammer, MYAU race director. “It’s a perfect mixture between veterans, newcomers and athletes returning to finish unfinished business. As always, I keep my fingers crossed that they all reach their respective goals.”

Athletes can complete their chosen distance either on foot, fat bike, or cross country skis.

Shelley Gellatly is a local racer and is a 300-mile finisher. This year, she will attempt the trek to Pelly Crossing again, this time on skis.

Gellatly has been involved in the race since it’s inauguration and was inspired to try it as a way to see the Yukon Quest trail.

“I did it the first time in ‘03 because I wanted to see the trail,” said Gellatly. “I originally thought I would try and mush the trail but realized I didn’t have the cash or the knowledge and thought this would be a great chance to see it.

“I’ve been involved every year. It’s really fun and interesting.”

During the race, competitors are expected to be self-sufficient, towing food and shelter behind them in heavily laden sleds called ‘pulks’ and melting snow to provide water.

Night temperatures can reach as low as -50 C, which when coupled with windchill and sheer physical exhaustion can be not just challenging, but extremely dangerous. Situations which under normal circumstances would be inconsequential can become life-threatening.

This year is the 17th edition of the race. There have been 891 participants, including 2019 so far. Forty-one nations have been represented. In order of most representation are Canada, UK, Germany, Italy, United States and Denmark.

 

(01/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by John Tonin
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Yukon Artic ultra 300 miler

Yukon Artic ultra 300 miler

The Yukon Arctic Ultra is the world's coldest and toughest ultra! Quite simply the world's coldest and toughest ultra. 430 miles of snow, ice, temperatures as low as -40°C and relentless wilderness, the YUA is an incredible undertaking. The Montane® Yukon Arctic Ultra (MYAU) follows the Yukon Quest trail, the trail of the world's toughest Sled Dog Race. Where dog...

more...
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Paul Fosh from Monmouth will have to endure frostbite-threatening minus-30C temperatures in the arduous Yukon Arctic Ultra race

Paul Fosh from Monmouth will have to endure frostbite-threatening minus-30C (-22F) temperatures in the arduous 430-mile Yukon Arctic Ultra race in north west Canada, with just 13 days to finish the trek.

He’s no stranger to the Arctic Circle, having completed two previous races in the Yukon, including the Ultra 300-mile course in 2016, but this will be his longest yet.

The 52-year-old father-of-two, who runs Paul Fosh Auctions, said: “I love the challenge, both physical and mental but know that probably less than a quarter of those entering the race will complete it.”

Last year, because of the extreme conditions and the toll it takes on the body, only one person finished the 300-mile race.

And tragically, experienced ultra race athlete Roberto Zanda from Italy lost both his lower legs and his lower right arm due to catastrophic frostbite damage sustained during the race.

Property auctioneer Paul said: “Over time, you become thrilled to be part of the small percentage that have completed the race.

“I have invested a lot of time, effort and money to get myself out there and I want to do myself proud. I don’t ever want to fail at anything I do.”

All of the 441 entrants, 41 of them in the 430-mile race, are entirely self-sufficient and carry all their belongings, food, clothes, tent and other equipment on a sled called a pulk.

“A lot of people underestimate the mental challenge," says Paul.

“There are those of us that almost enjoy the pain, but if it was too easy there would be no pleasure at the end.”

He is aiming to finish within 10 days by averaging around 43 miles a day, and said: “I know my level of fitness is right to achieve this goal, I have been doing a lot of training for this one as it is the most demanding race I’ve ever done.

“Someone once told me to train hard and play easy. Admittedly, that was in the context of rugby, but I think it can apply to this too.”

Despite the 13-day time limit on the race, there will be very little time for sleep, which means that competitors will spend a lot of time walking both day and night.

“Walking in the daylight is much easier psychologically because you’ve got such fantastic scenery to look at.

“At night, you could be anywhere, you’ve just got your headtorch beam to follow.

“One of my biggest challenges is complacency."

(01/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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Yukon Artic ultra 300 miler

Yukon Artic ultra 300 miler

The Yukon Arctic Ultra is the world's coldest and toughest ultra! Quite simply the world's coldest and toughest ultra. 430 miles of snow, ice, temperatures as low as -40°C and relentless wilderness, the YUA is an incredible undertaking. The Montane® Yukon Arctic Ultra (MYAU) follows the Yukon Quest trail, the trail of the world's toughest Sled Dog Race. Where dog...

more...
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Ultra runner Diane Van Deren says running is her outlet, her medicine and she doesn't say I can't anymore

Former professional tennis player Diane Van Deren was diagnosed with epilepsy in her 30s. For most people, this would not only end their career as a professional athlete, but also place major constraints on their daily routines and personal lives. That was not the case, however, for Van Deren. She not only persevered and ultimately found a way to get around her epileptic seizures – she did the extreme, opting to have a piece of her brain surgically removed to end her decade-long struggle with the disorder. After healing, Van Deren began running, trying her luck at a 50 mile race at age 42. Shortly thereafter, she ran her first 100-mile race and won it, right out of the gates. Since then, she has won the infamous Yukon Arctic Ultra, a 430-mile ultra footrace pulling a 50-pound sled through temperatures below 50 degrees for eight days, and set a record for the 1,000-mile Mountains to Sea Trail, where she traversed the state of North Carolina in just over 22 days. She’s been a professional endurance athlete with The North Face for the past 16 years. Van Deren, 58, is a wealth of positivity despite some of the obstacles she’s faced, including at times losing her sense of time and direction as a result of the surgery. “Running was my outlet, my medicine, the way to create a safe place for me,” Van Deren says. “When you are trying to be a wife and a mom, and you don’t know when the next seizure is going to come, it’s living in constant fear of ‘When is the beast going to hit me?’ When that changes and you get your health back, how can you not be grateful? I don’t say ‘I can’t’ or ‘I’m afraid’ anymore, or ‘What if?’ Now the way I look at life is, ‘I can’ – I can do it, I can try. So that’s where the gratitude comes from. I’ve walked it, I’ve lived it, I’ve been in a horrific situation, and through the brain surgery I now have wealth. I have my health.” (05/10/2018) ⚡AMP
Inspirational Stories
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Athletes declare that they “learned so much” about themselves in the course of these events says Eva Holland

The Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra is billed as the world’s coldest and toughest ultramarathon. When I signed up for the 2018 race, I expected the race to end like this. I travel across 100 miles of frozen, snow-packed trail through the Yukon wilderness, towing a sled loaded with everything I need to survive. I arrive, exhausted but elated, at the finish line; my friends greet me there with a cold beer. I kneel, pull down my frost-covered balaclava to kiss the finish-line banner, and can barely stand up again afterwards. I was in the best shape of my life; my winter-travel systems had been well and truly stress-tested. And I understood, now, why the racers I’d interviewed four years earlier kept coming back for more punishment, even if they hadn’t been able to articulate it to me then. I’d always have the memories of that giant moon swinging above me as I traveled up the frozen Takhini. But, had my frostbitten fingers not thwarted me, could I have finished? I still didn’t have the answer to my question, the riddle of the finish line and the failure. I still don’t. The only way to find out, I suppose, is to try again. (03/16/2018) ⚡AMP
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Only 32 people have finished the Arctic Ultra Race Ever

Romanian endurance athlete Tibi Useriu has “a commanding lead” in this year’s Arctic Ultra, one of the toughest ultra-marathons in the world. Useriu won the Arctic Ultra in 2016 and 2017 and is now the only Romanian still competing in the race, after Avram Iancu, Polgar Levente, and Florentina Iofcea all had to drop out. “As this report is written, Tibi Useriu, previous champion and all round legend, has a commanding lead on the ice road having passed through Mid Peel River check point and well on his way to Aklavik." The race takes place in extremely harsh conditions, at temperatures ranging between -50 and -30 degrees Celsius. Throughout the nine editions of the race, only 32 participants made it to the finish line. The race started on March 9 in Yukon. It will end at Tuktoyaktuk, on the banks of the Arctic Ocean (03/12/2018) ⚡AMP
Epic Running Adventures
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This race is considered the Coldest Ultramarathon on the Planet

The Yukon Arctic Ultra conditions sound like that of a frozen tundra nightmare in what could be the Canadian equivalent of the Barkley Marathons. Race director Robert Pollhammer posted on Facebook on Thursday that South African Jethro De Decker was the lone runner to make it to the finish line of the 300-miler (483K). Temperatures were at or below -40 for almost the entire week that the race went on. “It was a tough year, Many of the participants of the 300-miler, were taken off course and treated for frostbite and/or hypothermia at the hospital," says Robert. For sure this is the Coldest Ultramarathon... (02/08/2018) ⚡AMP
Epic Running Adventures
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