Runners and walkers leave the start line at the sixth annual Run Wild on Aug. 21 at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. Alex Arsenault, centre with bib 153, was the top youth runner. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News)

Runners take flight at wildlife preserve race

Whitehorse runners come within seconds of records

Considering the cosmic ballet witnessed across North America on Monday, it would have been fitting had race records also been eclipsed at the Run Wild event at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve.

A pair of Whitehorse runners came within seconds of surpassing records at the sixth annual event on Aug. 21, the day of the “Great American Eclipse.”

Alex Arsenault was the top youth runner, and fourth overall, on the five-kilometre course. He finished in 24 minutes and 28 seconds, just three seconds from the youth record set last year by Nathyn Sutton.

Kyle Lavoie placed first overall just eight seconds from the course record. The 34-year-old, who was the top male finisher in 2014, finished in 20:17.

“I got to see a few animals quickly,” said Lavoie. “A lot of them were coming to the fence to greet the runners, so that was special. And it was a beauty day with the eclipse, so that was nice as well.”

Paige Jackson bagged her first race win. The 32-year-old, who moved to Whitehorse from Vancouver in February and was in the event for her first time, was the top female with a time of 25:47.

“It was awesome,” said Jackson. “It was cool seeing all the animals because they perk up when you run by.”

A total of 63 runners and walkers — 20 less than last year — took part in this year’s event that raised $875 for the preserve.

“It’ll go to general animal care of injured or orphaned animals that come through the wildlife preserve,” said Lindsay Caskenette, the preserve’s manager of visitor services.

“That can mean anything from simply the food, to the medicine that might be needed for some of the animals, or it may go into a fund for any equipment that we need.

“The breadth of things that are require in the care of animals is quite extensive, it’s quite a spectrum of things.”

There is a pair of new residents that might benefit from raised funds. The preserve received an injured red-tailed hawk this past weekend from downtown Whitehorse. The hawk apparently flew into a window and might have a concussion, but should to be released soon.

The reserve is also caring for a raven that recently arrived with a broken humerus in its wing. The raven will be a permanent resident due to the severity of its injury and is roommates with a bald eagle, another permanent resident.

“They have quite a bit of bantering back and forth,” said Caskenette. “They’re both social birds, so it works well.

“The raven encourages the bald eagle to be a little more active, moving around the habitat.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

Top results

Youth

1st Alex Arsenault — 24:28

2nd Andrew Smith — 26:22

3rd Daniel Clyde — 27:46

Male

1st Kyle Lavoie — 20:17

2nd Jessy Desjardins — 23:12

3rd Andrew Knorr — 23:29

Female

1st Paige Jackson — 25:47

2nd Tamaralyn Young — 31:01

3rd Susanne Wirth — 31:02

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Top female Paige Jackson heads past elk on her way to the finish. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News

Tom Patrick/Yukon News Top female Paige Jackson heads past elk on her way to the finish.

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