Record number of people run in this year’s Yukon River Trail Marathon Pipa News

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A record number of people took part in Sunday’s Yukon River Trail Marathon, despite cold rainy weather over the weekend.

More than 300 people participated in the program. This is the most registered participants in the race’s 23 years.

Ken Silvestre, one of the organisers, said the natural beauty of the Yukon attracts people from all over the world to sign up for the race.

“I think the scenery is something that’s really special. It’s a trail that runs mostly on a single track, so it’s a really good route to run. The footing is really good for runners and the Yukon The views along the river are really spectacular,” he said.

Silvestre also noted that many enthusiastic runners from Canada and the US participate in this trail marathon because “they are trying to complete a run in each province and territory.”

While Sunday’s conditions weren’t the most photo-friendly, some runners actually preferred the bad weather.

Geoff Dunbreak holding his participation medal
In the Half Marathon Men’s Open, Geoff Dunbreak came first with a time of 1:23:47. (CC de Flavis/CBC)

Yukonner Geoff Dunbreak, who competes in the men’s half marathon open category, said the last time he ran the race, the trails were incredibly dry and he fell.

“Last time I did it I think it was 25 degrees outside. I remember feeling very thirsty when I was finished but this time the temperature is just right.”

“My legs are a little loose,” he said minutes after claiming first place.

For some, simply participating was a huge victory. Some were surprised to learn that they were among the first to cross the border.

“Yeah, I didn’t expect it,” said Quebec’s Conor Thompson, who had COVID-19 three weeks before the race.

“I had no hope, because I didn’t work out very intensely [training] in the last week.”

Conor Thompson holding his medal
Conor Thompson finished second in the men’s half marathon on Sunday, despite being ill a few weeks before the competition. (CC de Flavis/CBC)

Thompson, who finished second behind Dunbreak, said his strategy during the race was to go step-by-step and focus on the flags along the mark.

“I was more than trying to catch people at the moment,” he said.

route planning

Sylvester explained that the event was founded in 1999, when marathon distance running was slowly growing in popularity.

Since then, the race has stuck along the Yukon River along the same route of trails along Miles Canyon, Chadburn Lake and the Riverdale neighborhood.

Yukon River Trail Marathon Map Route
Along the Yukon River, the race for trails along Miles Canyon, Chadburn Lake and the Riverdale neighborhood has followed a similar route over the years. (CC de Flavis/CBC)

The cooler, wetter weather wasn’t the only challenge this year. Silvestre said this year’s route was hard to determine.

“This year was a real challenge for trail work,” he said. “There’s just too many trail issues, fallen trees and slides and everything else you can name.”

The Millennium Trail, along with the Robert Service Way, was closed for several weeks. major slope slide in April.


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