MONTANE YUKON ARCTIC ULTRA: 16th EDITION

MYAU organisers look forward to edition #16 of the world’s coldest and toughest ultra.   Since 2003, the 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 over 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, 300, or the full 430 mile course options available.  This year, 87 athletes from over 20 countries are competing, with almost half having signed up to the 430 mile race.

We have an amazing race roster with great athletes from all over the world. I am really looking forward to seeing all of them in the Yukon soon and to accompany the athletes while they are undertaking one of the greatest ultra-distance challenges in this world.”
– Robert Pollhammer, MYAU Organiser

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 race. 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

“The MYAU is truly in a class of its own amongst ultra endurance events.  Not only are the distances long, but everything about the environment challenges competitors to their absolute limit.”
 – Terry Stephenson, Head of Marketing, Montane

This February, as the MYAU enjoys its 16th year, Dr Mathias Steinach from the Centre for Space Medicine will be returning for the fourth time to conduct a study with consenting 430 mile runners.  Data gathered during the race will be used by scientists to help plan long-distance space travel such as human missions to Mars.  Participants who partake in the study will also receive detailed information about their own health and performance levels to influence future training.

One of the competitors attempting the 430 mile route is Montane Ambassador Javed Bhatti, who has teamed up with the vibrant new podcast ‘PE For Grown Ups’ for a series of podcast episodes – First Episode HERE, and will be talking about his race on the 27th Feb at Albert House, London – MORE INFORMATION HERE .

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