MONTANE® Yukon Arctic Ultra Organizers Look Forward to 17th Edition of the World’s Coldest and Toughest Ultra
Competitors face fierce wintry conditions along the race’s route
Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada — (January 7, 2020) — Since 2003, the MONTANE® Yukon Arctic Ultra (MYAU) has been held every February along the Yukon Quest Trail – the route of the world’s toughest 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 marathon, 100 and 300. 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.
“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.”
During the race, competitors are expected to be totally self-sufficient, towing food and shelter behind them in heavily laden sleds called ‘pulks’ and melting snow to provide water. Snowshoes, skis and even fatbikes are used to traverse the deep snow-ridden trail. 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 absolutely life-threatening.
This is why for newcomers there are training courses available immediately before the race, in the terrain and conditions that will be experienced on the course. The belief is that by attending such courses and fine-tuning skills and race systems, competitors will increase their chances of enjoying a safe and successful race. Extreme cold is a major danger, with temperatures often reaching below -50 °C.
“I have the utmost respect for the competitors who take part in the MYAU,” added Matt Hickman, Global Marketing Manager with Montane. “Their passion and drive are what propels us as a brand, and it’s also a perfect testing ground for our kit.”