Yukon Arctic Ultra 2011 – September 2010 Newsletter

Hello everyone,

Montane is the new Diamond Sponsor of the Yukon Arctic Ultra

I am very happy to be able to officially announce that Montane as of now is our new title sponsor – what we refer to a Diamond Sponsorship level. Montane has been producing highly functional and innovative outdoor clothing since 1993. Making the right products for cold temperatures has always been of great importance to this British brand. So, there is of course a perfect strategic fit with the YAU. However, it is not just that. It is also the spirit that the brand stands for and the way things are done at Montane that make it a great thing to have them on board as a partner. Montane will help us to be more professional in our PR efforts, support our 2011 filming project, provide nice shirts for the athletes (given out at pre-race dinner), produce great merchandise and provide staff and volunteers with a jacket. Also, participants of the YAU will get a 20% discount on any Montane gear bought through racelite.com. Please note, when you buy online the prices will be the regular ones. Just make sure to mention you participate in the race and your 20% will be deducted.

Should the product you are looking for not be the shop just send an email and it will be organised for you. As for merchandise, the first item will be a special edition blue Extreme smock with synthetic fur lining on the hood. The same type of smock used by the Catlin Arctic Survey staff. Just with YAU badges on it. The good news is that even though it is a special run with some extras, we can offer the Smock to you for EUR 99.95 rather than the regular price of EUR 122.50. To order the smock please get in touch via email (info[a]thegreatoutdoors.de). For more information about Montane and their full range of products please check out www.montane.co.uk. I have taken the opportunity to make an update to our logo, too. I hope you like it!

Air travel to Whitehorse

I have mentioned this previously but it is such an important issue that I will mention it again. And it won’t be the last time, either … Due to the smaller Air Canada planes out of Vancouver in the past we have always had a few athletes who arrived without their luggage. There simply was not enough storage on the plane for all the sleds and thus some were left behind. With our race roster being full in 2011 this problem may increase. Everything has always arrived in time for the race start but of course it’s a big headache and one of these things you really don’t want to have to deal with. There are some things you can do in order to prevent the problem or at least decrease the chances of it happening: I am told that Air North uses bigger aircraft into Whitehorse and is more reliable than Air Canada when it comes to luggage. So, you could combine a flight with any airline to Vancouver and a flight with Air North to Whitehorse.

In any case it makes sense not to plan for a last minute arrival. If possible at all, give yourself a couple of days. That way you can acclimatize, buy whatever you still need, test your gear, all with less stress. And if there are luggage problems you have more time to deal with it. If budget and time allow for it, it is also nice to go dog mushing before the race. All athletes who have tried it, really enjoyed the experience!

Some of the really expensive gear may be safer with you in the carry-on luggage, e.g. your down jacket. That way, if your luggage is delayed at least you have some of your expensive and important gear with you.

I have heard of people shipping the gear ahead of time to Whitehorse. I am not sure how much this costs and because it may be stuck in customs it may not be 100% safe, either. However, it is an option.

Hotel Accommodation in Dawson City and transfer back to Whitehorse

As always athletes have to make arrangements for accommodation in Dawson City for themselves. One of the options for you to stay is the famous Downtown Hotel – also the place where you can drink your Sourtoe Cocktail if you are brave enough. So far, I have managed to escape this little adventure … The Downtown Hotel has offered YAU athletes the Yukoner rates which are: Single – CAD 89.00 Double – CAD 96.00 Triple – CAD 103.00 Quad – CAD 110.00 For all the contact details please check the hotel website. For other accommodation option please go to http://www.dawsoncity.ca/visitorservices/placestostay/. Please note that not all of these places are in Dawson City. If you book make sure it is within easy walking distance of the centre.

Our transfer back from Dawson City to Whitehorse will be on Feb. 19th, once the last athlete has arrived, had a shower and something to eat. Should you be in Dawson several days before that, there are no extra transfers. There may of course be somebody going back anyway or we may arrange for an extra transfer if there are many early arrivals but you can’t count on it.

Looks definitely like a record entry At the moment we have got 49 athletes on the race roster and about 6 more confirmed to sign up. This also means that for the first time I have to seriously think about limiting the number of athletes. Obviously, it would be easy to just increase space at the checkpoints, have more staff, volunteers, etc. However, it would change the very soul of this race. The YAU stands for a great atmosphere, where athletes get to know each other well and we get to know each athlete pretty well, too. We are kind of like a big family. A significant increase in numbers may mean more stress at checkpoints and less time to deal with each individual. So, an increase needs to be taken step by step in order to find out at what numbers everything still works well and everybody enjoys the suffering as much as possible 😉 To make a long story short, at this point in time I am thinking about a maximum of 60 to 65 athletes overall on the ultra distances. Therefore, if you want to be sure to be able to participate and have not signed up yet, be quick!

As always I want to welcome the new athletes. With Wilfried Seehafer and Peter Uekötter two more Germans have signed up for the marathon. Also, we have our first Canadian marathoner, Harold Mah. Shelley tells me we will soon see some more Canadian marathoners, too! Garry Mackay and Lee Peyton, both Scotland, have signed up for the 100 miles. Christoph Kurth from Germany will give it a try on xc-ski. 6 more athletes have signed up for the 300 miles! Dominik Luksch is another German xc-skiers. I think we have never had that many xc-skiers. That’s great! He will be joined by Frenchman Francis Beauvallet and 4 more Spanish!!! – Gabriel Santamaria Manso, Jorge Aubeso Martinez, Rodrigo Iturralde Chacon Inigo Iruretagoyna Plaza. Last but not least the 430 milers. Jerym Brunton from New Zealand is back to finish the race to Dawson once more. Sean Brown from the UK is back to give it another go – he already got to Pelly Farm last time bu t had to stop due to an infection. You will make it this time Sean!!! Then there is the German-Australian soon to be Canadian father and daughter team with Peter and Nicole Muller. Friedrich Fink from Germany who already finished the 100 miles and Anton Hierschläger from Austria who is the third xc-skier on this distance. Welcome to you all! Jessica, Mike, Kevin, Murray and Eric – all back to support the race Veterans know them well.

Jessica and Mike have always been there to help with a lot of the organization up front, setting up remote checkpoint, running Dog Grave Lake, the race headquarter, guiding on the trail – you name it. They have confirmed that they will be back in 2011 to support the athletes. This time a bit different, though. Jessica and Mike will prepare Dog Grave Lake but will then head straight to Scroggie Creek in order to prepare and run the checkpoint not only for us but also for the Yukon Quest. Kevin and Murray are part of our snowmobile crew. Always in a good mood and very reliably they will be out there to check on the athletes and also setting up remote checkpoints. It is also confirmed that Kevin and Murray will run Indian River checkpoint again which is in between Scroggie and Dawson City. Eric Kocher will be back to help as part of the medical team. You will see him at the checkpoint looking out for frostbitten noses and toes! I am also trying to get Greg Peterson to come back. He helped for the first time in 2009 as part of the snowmobile crew and did an awesome job. Problem is that he is in Mexico for the winter … Not exactly a place you may want to leave to drive thousands of miles on a snowmobile in – 20 degrees and colder … I will keep you up to date. Thank you guys for helping us again!

News regarding SPOT I can confirm that we will get 32 SPOT units free of charge through trackleaders.com which is great news. It means that not only will we have the safety features of 2009 again but also that everybody can follow the athlete’s progress. Since it is “only” 32 units I will give this out to the 430 and 300 miles with priority. Trackleaders.com is currently checking if we get more units to also give these to the 100 milers. I will find out what can be done if an athlete wants to use her/his own SPOT. Braeburn, Pelly Farm and McCabe Creek confirmed I am happy to say that Braeburn, Pelly Farm and McCabe Creek have confirmed their involvement as checkpoints. They are all looking forward to seeing as many athelets as possible. This goes especially for Pelly Farm. This time they want more 300 milers to get there!

Best regards,

Robert Pollhammer

Visit the race websiteYukon Arctic Ultra for more details and info.

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