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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Jan and Petra - Tackle The Yukon Arctic Ultra 2015

We know that Jan was about to tackle the Yukon Arctic Ultra, the 430 mile race and we were quite frankly in awe.  We asked him to give his perspective on the race in general and this year's challenge.  His overview is below - Unbelievable!

Jan writes:
"Quite simply the world's coldest and toughest ultra.  430 miles of snow, ice, temperatures as low as -40°C ( in 2007 temperatures dropped to -61°C and race was canceled) and relentless wilderness, the YAU  is an incredible undertaking.  It sounds less like an ultramarathon, than the premise for a Jack London novel.  Yukon Arctic Ultra follows the Yukon Quest trail, the trail of the world's toughest Sled Dog Race.  Where dog teams once slid and scrambled now human power chases up the trail.  You can choose to race the 430 mile (odd numbered years), 300 mile, 100 mile or marathon distance.  The race begins in Whitehorse, Yukon, finishing (for those that make it) 13 nights later on the in Dawson city, Yukon.  The marathon finishes just off the Takhini River.  The 100 mile competitors race from Whitehorse to Braeburn.  The 300 mile racers continue relentlessly onwards going all the way to Pelly Farm.  The 430 mile athletes continue on up the Quest trail to Dawson City.  Racers must pull their own gear in a sled.  There are no stages.  The amount of hours a racer chooses to sleep as opposed to marking off mileage is up to them.

Many people are asking why we are doing this.  Well, it is good question, but we have no answer for that yet.  Maybe we will find it during our adventure in Yukon.  Last year at Yukon Arctic Ultra my wife Petra went for marathon distance and I did 100miles, just to give it a go and try.  I am an elite triathlete and I went through many painful events, but nothing compared to race in Yukon.  I pushed hard and I reached my limits, very interesting feeling and something new to me.  It was my first 100 miler.  I was ready.  My biggest concerns were clothing and nutrition during the race.  Hydration and nutrition in these harsh conditions are extremely important.  Thanks to Infinit Canada I had my custom made hydration fitted for my needs.  After 3 years with Infinit I knew that I cannot go wrong. And I didn't!  My nutrition during the race was excellent, but such a tough race won't take mercy to anyone, so after almost 24 hours of running, walking, sled pulling I finished and promised that I will never do something similar again.  Well, well, well and here we go again.  I am on the start line for 430 miles from Whitehorse to Dawson city altogether with my wife Petra and her 100 miler.  It is not long ago when we got married and because we love intense experience Yukon Arctic Ultra is going to be our honeymoon.  We will go for first 100 miles together, enough time to share the love.  Than I will push on north, direction to Dawson city.  Fingers crossed."

Jan and Petra start the race this weekend, I have caught myself here and there, saying it is too cold to run outside, I am just going to hit the treadmill.  I need to rethink this.  Truly inspiring.

Good luck Jan and Petra, oh ya - Have a great Honeymoon!

- Darcy Haggith, President, Infinit Nutrition Canada