Although it doesn’t quite require an asterisk in the records book, Team Scarecrow’s victory at the Klondike Trail of ’98 International Road Relay, which began in Skagway, Alaska, Friday evening and finished in Whitehorse Saturday afternoon, was slightly tainted.
Whitehorse’s Scarecrow team became the first Yukon – and first Canadian – team to win the open division at the relay since Whitehorse’s Pepsi Roadrunners won it in 1993.
However, the team that won the open category in the 176.5-kilometre race the last seven years – and that inspired the Scarecrow’s team name, Anchorage’s Skinny Raven: Take No Prisoners – was absent, sidelined by two injured runners and other race commitments.
“That was the whole idea, to beat Take No Prisoners,” said Scarecrow’s Shane Carlos. “They must be fairly competitive to enter so many years in a row, so they’ll probably come back to challenge us, and then we can beat them.”
“I’m pretty excited. I’m glad we pulled it all together,” said Scarecrow captain Rodney Hulstein. “But at the same time it’s bittersweet – we were hoping Take No Prisoners was going to be here.
“I heard they will be coming back next year, so I’m really excited about that.”
Coming in with a time of 11 hours, 20 minutes and 56 seconds – three minutes faster than Skinny Raven’s winning time last year – Scarecrow had the fastest times in seven of the race’s 10 legs, running an average speed of 15.4 kilometres per hour.
“Leg 10 was awful,” said Hulstein, who ran and won both Leg 1 and 10. “I ran it painfully. After Leg 4 I was looking at my teammates and asked who wants to take over. I was hurting so bad.
“Leg 1 was hard and took a lot out of me, but Leg 10 was probably the toughest race I’ve done.”
Also winning legs for Scarecrow were Stephen Waterreus, Ray Sabo, Shane Carlos, Brent Langbakk and Karl Blattmann from Teslin.
“I probably went out too fast for the first 12 miles – those last four miles were pretty brutal,” said Carlos, who won Leg 6. “I was losing speed every mile.
“It was really long and tiring. But it’s a good event, a fun event.”
Included on Scarecrow were Luke Carlos, Andrew Brown, a newcomer to the territory, and Haines Junction’s Willy Palahicky, a last minute addition.
A local team, A Penny Short of a Masters from Whitehorse, was also successful in the open women’s division, finishing in 15:00:22, beating out second place’s Yukon Women in Trades from Whitehorse.
“We’re all masters on the team, except for Penny Sheardown, so that put us in the women’s category,” said A Penny Short captain Sue Bogle. “It’s a new team. We’re all friends and we were wondering why we weren’t running together, so this year we decided to get the team together. We’ve all run in (the relay) before.”
Joining Bogle and Sheardown on the team were Helen Stappers, Lucy Steele, Robin Fairburn, Michelle Toews, Janet Clarke, Leslie Raeden, plus Ada Johnstone from Teslin and Lisa Evans, who was the fastest woman on Leg 1.
Although shutout of the top spots in the mixed, and masters divisions, in the walkers class, which saw a record 17 teams entered, Whitehorse’s Chocolate Claim Walkers took first walking from Carcross to Whitehorse in 8:40:38. The Chocolate Claim Walkers, who are made up from a Saturday morning walking club, defended their title from last year, beating out second-place finishers, Whitehorse’s Slowly Heading North.
In the masters open, Juneau’s Smokin’ Ole Geezers, who have had a team in the relay for over 20 years, took back the division title, beating out Whitehorse’s Cabriolet Xcelerators, who finished fourth overall. The Smokin’ Ole Geezers, finished second overall in the relay, coming in with a time of 12:31:44.
Not only did the walking division see a record turnout, so did the ultra and youth divisions, which, like the walker, travelled 72 kilometres from Carcross to Whitehorse.
Up from one last year, four ultra marathoners participated with Whitehorse’s Denise McHale taking first, defeating defending champ Keith Thaxter and setting a new course record with a time of 5:28:00.
McHale, who last month finished third overall at the 125-kilometre Canadian Death Race, is the current 100-kilometre women’s Canadian champion and will be competing at the 100-kilometre world championships this November.
The youth division (under-18) saw a new high watermark with three teams, all from Whitehorse, entered.
Taking first was Just KIDding!, completing final four legs of the race – each split into two for the youth – in 6:35:22. While not all from the same sport, the team was stacked with experienced athletes, many who represented the territory at Arctic Winter Games in March.
“We’re not friends from one specific sport or anything, we’re just a bunch of friends who thought it would be cool to do,” said Just KIDding! captain Heather Clarke. “We just gathered people up and decided to make a team – but we are pretty athletic.”
On the team with Clarke, who specializes in speed skating, was gymnasts Corey Baxter and Anna Rivard, hockey and soccer players Liam Janke, Michael Hare and Steven Qui, plus cyclist Rebecca Gaetz and Hannah Woodwalker, who “does any sport,” said Clarke.
“We’re already planning to put a team together next year,” said Clarke. “We’re all about 15, 16, so we should be good for putting in a youth team next year, but we talking about doing the whole thing, see if we could do it.”
1st Scarecrow (Whitehorse) – 11:20:56
2nd C. C. Striders (Juneau) – 14:28:52
3rd La Bamba (Juneau) – 15:06:48
4th Bisquatches (Whitehorse) – 15:12:34
5th BEER (Anchorage) – 15:53:32
6th Superbad (Juneau) – 16:02:51
7th Alpine Health Hobblers (Whitehorse) – 16:30:27
8th Sole Train (Juneau) – 16:41:39
9th Eat & Run (Juneau) – 17:22:52
10th Nu Line Power Rangers (Whitehorse) – 17:25:02
1st A Penny short of a Masters (Whitehorse) – 15:00:22
2nd Yukon Women in Trades (Whitehorse) – 15:29:36
3rd Hard Women Are Good To Find (Juneau) – 16:11:25
4th Fast Women…And We Run Too (Juneau) – 16:28:02
5th Tutshi Trekkers (Whitehorse) – 17:15:54
6th The Last of the Mo-Sequins (Girdwood) – 17:39:37
7th Harriets Harriers (Juneau) – 17:44:02
8th Shaken Not Stirred (Juneau) – 17:56:15
9th Thera-pissed (Whitehorse) – 18:18:09
10th Pine Dental Tooth Fairies (Whitehorse) – 18:54:24
1st Team 8 (Juneau) – 13:10:26
2nd12 Gauge (Anchorag) – 13:35:42
3rd Smokin Girls & Non Smokin Geezers (Juneau) – 14:04:36
4th Blues Runners (Whitehorse) – 14:36:49
5th Dynamite in Soapy Smith’s Woolen Britches (Anchorage) – 15:00:36
6th Les epiques coureurs des bois de l’Arctique (Whitehorse) – 15:39:42
7th Slackmasters (Haines) – 15:46:30
8th 20 Feet of Fire (Whitehorse) – 15:48:02
9th Trans Camino (Whitehorse) – 15:50:07
10th Rain Dogs (Juneau) – 15:52:59
1st Ski Team Runners (Whitehorse) – 16:12:24
1st Smokin’ Ole Geezers (Juneau) – 12:31:44
2nd Cabriolet Xcelerators (Whitehorse) – 13:28:50
1st Lady Gudivas (Juneau) – 14:30:37
2nd Crow’s Feet (Juneau) – 16:42:33
3rd Medicine Chest Pharmacy (Whitehorse) – 17:04:47
4th Aged to Perfection 2010 (Whitehorse) – 18:49:37
5th Not Your Eight Minute Milers (Juneau) – 19:46:27
6th Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Petersburg) – 20:10:05
1st The Classics (Anchorage) – 14:06:23
1st Chocolate Claim Walkers (Whitehorse) – 08:40:38
2nd Slowly Heading North (Whitehorse) – 08:43:55
3rd Soled Out (Skagway) – 09:28:52
4th Gotta Have Sole (Skagway) – 09:41:10
5th Class ACTS (Juneau) – 09:48:52
6th Hurtling Turtles (Whitehorse) – 09:49:39
7th High Alpha Hops (Juneau) – 10:05:45
8th Tom’s Touring Service (Whitehorse) – 10:06:23
9th Team Survivor-Fit To Walk (Douglas) – 10:14:54
10th Art & Sole (Skagway) – 10:17:29
1st Denise McHale (Whitehorse) – 05:28:00
2nd Keith Thaxter (Whitehorse) – 05:52:00
3rd Whit Aillaud (Delta Junction) – 07:43:00
1st Just KIDding! (Whitehorse) – 06:35:22
2nd Juvenile Joggers 2 (Whitehorse) – 07:10:00
3rd Juvenile Joggers (Whitehorse) – 07:39:00
MEN’S LEG WINNERS
Leg 1 – Rodney Hulstein (Whitehorse)
Leg 2 – Stephen Waterreus (Whitehorse)
Leg 3 – Carroll Pope (Juneau)
Leg 4 – Dave Brook (Whitehorse)
Leg 5 – Ray Sabo (Whitehorse)
Leg 6 – Shane Carlos (Whitehorse)
Leg 7 – Bryce Iverson (Juneau)
Leg 8 – Karl Blattmann (Teslin)
Leg 9 – Brent Langbakk (Whitehorse)
Leg 10 – Rodney Hulstein (Whitehorse)
WOMEN’S LEG WINNERS
Leg 1 – Lisa Evans (Whitehorse)
Leg 2 – Patricia Shipley (Anchorage)
Leg 3 – Tina Brobby (Whitehorse)
Leg 4 – Colleen Miller (Anchorage)
Leg 5 – Maura Sullivan (Whitehorse)
Leg 6 – Kirsty Smith (North Vancouver)
Leg 7 – Karlynn Welling (Juneau)
Leg 8 – Mary Mae Aschoff (Anchorage)
Leg 9 – Colleen Latham (Whitehorse)
Leg 10 – Debbie Cropper (Anchorage)
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com