Awesome warriors conquer Mount Sima

Whitehorse's Julia Gerlach is an awesome warrior two years running. Not only did she win the “awesome babes” division of the second annual Awesome Warriors Challenge for a second year in a row, she was first overall, posting a faster time than the men on Saturday.

Whitehorse’s Julia Gerlach is an awesome warrior two years running.

Not only did she win the “awesome babes” division of the second annual Awesome Warriors Challenge for a second year in a row, she was first overall, posting a faster time than the men on Saturday.

“I think running is my strength, and I also like crawling through the mud and so on, but last year’s had more flat (terrain) with flat running and just a few obstacles,” said Gerlach, “This year’s was very steep uphill. We basically had to walk up the entire Mount Sima hill, which was pure pain.

“We had the obstacles on the bottom, and they were quite challenging. But once we got up there was a lot of downhill, which I love. I love going fast.

“Compared to last year, they both had their charm.”

Gerlach completed the seven-kilometre course, featuring about 46 obstacles up and down Sima, in 45 minutes and 30 seconds.

Placing second in awesome babes was Marianne Phelps at 49:57, ahead of Pauline Frost at 55:43.

“The intensity of it – it was really physically demanding,” said Gerlach, who has a background in triathlon, “It was really hard. It was a nice challenge.”

Terry Joss climbed walls, crawled through mud, jumped a fire-pit and went up and down Sima in 45:37 to win the “warrior dudes” division. Charlie Furchner raced to second with a time of 47:43 and Jason MacKay finished third at 47:44.

“It was great,” said Furchner. “The hardest part for me was I wasn’t expecting to climb the mountain. So that was rough. I was expecting the obstacles, but I wasn’t expecting to go all the way up the mountain.”

Whitehorse’s James Paterson upped his training following a loss in last year’s inaugural event.

“I did this last year and I was beat by a bunch of very nice ladies from a CrossFit gym and that inspired me to get moving,” said Paterson. “It worked out well for me this year.”

Paterson proved himself to be an “outrageous warrior,” winning the extreme 21-kilometre event – completing the seven-kilometre course three times – with a time of 3:06:46.

Paterson is a local fireman who has competed nationally in Fireman Combat Challenge competitions, but “I’m not able to do that this season so I decided to do something different,” he said. “It seemed like a grueling event that would be a bit of a challenge for me.”

Cody Morrison and Devon Armstrong came in together at 3:57:23 to tie for second.

Winners of this year’s event, which included over 60 participants, were awarded a Challenge Coin.

The coin, which carries the event’s insignia, comes with responsibility.

“If you’ve got one, you’ll want to leave the house with it in your pocket as often as possible,” said event organizer Taelin Free. “Because if you own one and I own one and we bump into each other some place – a restaurant or a bar or some place – either one can challenge the other by pulling it out: ‘For a hamburger or a drink, do you have your coin?’ If I don’t have my coin, I have to buy you the meal.”

The first annual Awesome Warriors Challenge was held at the mud bog pits off Robert Service Way in Whitehorse last August.

Contact Tom Patrick at

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