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SarahCrunning - 31/01/2018 21:20:03
   
Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra
The Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra is dubbed 'the world's coldest and toughest ultra', and it is easy to see why. There are 4 distance options - 26 miles, 100 miles, 300 miles and 430 miles. Participants may enter as runners, XC-skiers or mountain bikers. The course record for the 430 miles race on foot is 186 hours 50 minutes - this was set by Casper Wakefield in 2013.

Cold is an understatement. The race starts in Whitehorse next to the Yukon River, and the long race follows the Yukon Quest trail out to Pelly Farm. Temperatures along the trail are predicted to range from -20 to -35 degrees centigrade over the next few days. The trail could well disappear under the snow.

The races start tomorrow (1st February), and the 430 mile race finishes on 9th February.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 01/02/2018 21:31:53
   
RE:Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra
After 3 hours, Jovica Spajic is leading at 12 miles. Nikolaj Pedersen is 2nd at 11.3 miles.
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SarahCrunning - 02/02/2018 18:28:37
   
RE:Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra
It has been reported that there are some difficulties with the tracker and that a number of entrants have retired but are safe and well. All athletes are currently being held at checkpoints for safety because it is -45 degrees. Frontrunner Jovica Spajic had reached around 64 miles, but has had to return to the Dog Grave Lake checkpoint at 61.3 miles. All participants are safe.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 03/02/2018 21:21:26
   
RE:Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra
The race resumed within the past couple of hours and there is further information about the impact of the cold and the reasons for pausing the event. A number of athletes suffered frostbite and/or early signs of hypothermia. A couple were treated in hospital. Several athletes have retired and the team responded to a number of competitors pressing their emergency 'help' button. All involved have been kept safe and warm. It was deemed safe to continue earlier today and athletes were advised to team up. However, temperatures dropped as low as -50 degrees C and there were problems with safety equipment, and the race was put back on hold until a couple of hours ago. Hopefully athletes will be able to progress now. Such a tough event!
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 04/02/2018 22:03:14
   
RE:Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra
Italy's Emanuele Gallo won the 100 mile distance today. Sweden's Peter Mild finished second, followed by Germany's Tomas Jelinek in third. In the 300 mile race, Serbia's Jovica Spajic was the first to reach Braeburn - the 100 mile point, but was suffering from frostbite on his nose. The team asked him to sleep before they decide in the morning if he will be allowed to continue or must receive treatment. Second to arrive at Braebuen for the night was Denmark's Nikolaj Pedersen. He has frostbite on his toes and it was deemed unsafe for him to continue the race. He is safe and will be taken back in the morning. Not all of the trackers are working for those out on the course (due to the extreme temperatures), but they are being regularly checked on.
Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 05/02/2018 21:26:25
   
RE:Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra
It's been another tough and bitterly cold day. There have been further DNFs due to frostbite. Jethro De Decker, Jovica Spajic and Ilona Gyapay both reached the Ken Lake checkpoint last night. However, Jovica had frostbitten fingers and was unable to continue. He is out of the race but is safe and being looked after. Not all the trackers have been 100% reliable in these temperatures, but is currently looking like Jethro De Decker (South Africa, based in Singapore) is in 1st at 151.2 miles and Canada's Illona Gyapay is 2nd at 144.6 miles
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SarahCrunning - 06/02/2018 23:32:33
   
RE:Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra
The top 5 athletes remaining in the 300 mile race last night were: Jethro De Decker (runner, South Africa), Ilona Gyapay (skier, Canada), Roberto Zanda (runner, Italy), Asbjorn Bruun (runner, Denmark) and Frode Lein (runner, Norway). Asbjorn and Frode remained in the Ken Lake checkpoint overnight rather than take on a risky late push to Carmacks. This meant they would be unable to make the cut-off and are out of the race. Both have been brought to Carmacks by ski-doo and are well.

Gyapay left the Carmacks aid station this morning. Shortly afterwards, Zanda arrived at Carmacks. Both were reported to be in good spirits. Zanda continued his race after a short rest and some food. According to the trackers, Jethro de Decker is currently leading at almost 201 miles, Gyapay is at 182.7 miles and Zanda at 171.9 miles. If they all remain safe and well, these three look likely to be the top three finishers. However, we have seen that nothing is certain in this race!

Sarah Cooke

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SarahCrunning - 07/02/2018 19:05:55
   
RE:Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra
The athletes endured another -45 degree night last night. Three athletes remain in the race, and there have been a higher number of cases of frostbite than any previous year. Roberto Zanda's tracker is not working, and the team have headed out to check on his location and wellbeing. He is in third place currently. Jethro De Decker has reached the Pelly Crossing checkpoint and is about 230 miles into the race. Ilona Gyapay is about 18 miles behind and in second place. All other athletes that started the 300 mile race have retired.
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SarahCrunning - 07/02/2018 23:59:58
   
RE:Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra
It has just been reported that Roberto Zanda has had to retire with frostbite. This leaves just Jethro De Decker and skier Ilona Gyapay in the race. Zanda is being taken to hospital for treatment.
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SarahCrunning - 08/02/2018 17:35:35
   
RE:Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra
Ilona arrived at Pelly Crossing (229.7 miles) last night with frostbitten fingers and was forced to retire. She has lived in this area all her life and was ideally prepared for the event, but even she stated that there has never been a year like this for temperatures and cases of frostbite. This left only Jethro De Decker in the race who was somehow managing to continue without frostbite despite being from South Africa and living in Singapore. He arrived at Pelly Farm (262 miles) this morning. He was fully ready to continue, but the team made a decision to make this the finish line for this year. This makes Jethro De Decker the winner and only finisher for the longest distance this year. An incredibly tough event that has shown the necessity of having a dedicated safety team able to reach and check on athletes when tracking systems have been unable to cope with the cold. Thanks to Robert Pollhammer for the regular updates.
Sarah Cooke

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