Before participants left the start line at the fourth annual Run Wild Event, they got to see an example of what they were running for at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve on Monday.
Two orphaned redhead ducklings were released into the preserve’s marsh habitat just prior to the start of the run. The ducklings were brought to the preserve in July and have spent the last month in the preserve’s rehabilitation centre.
“They were very small and would not have been able to take care of themselves and at that point would have been easily preyed upon,” said Lindsay Caskenette, the preserve’s visitor services administrator. “So we’re just giving them a second chance and giving them some time … We didn’t have to do any surgery or anything … They were just orphaned.”
A total of 36 runners and walkers took part in the event, raising $642 for wildlife rehabilitation. Last year 122 took part, raising $2,288 to help build an enclosure for orphaned baby red fox.
“It costs money to run the building, it costs money to feed them, and of course it costs money to pay our staff to care for the animals,” said Caskenette. “Fundraising helps keep them, helps feed them and keep that centre open.”
One thing that wasn’t preserved was the record for the five-kilometre and one metre course.
Whitehorse’s Jordon Lindoff, 34, shaved almost a minute of last year’s record time, reaching the finish in 20 minutes and nine seconds.
“It was awesome. There are animals everywhere, the people are awesome and it’s just fun,” said Lindoff, who started racing triathlons a few years ago.
“Once or twice I visualized a muskoxen chasing me for a little extra boost. They’re terrifying.”
Lindoff finished with a lot of breathing room. Andrew Smyth came second at 26:29. Bobby Prematunga was third for males at 27:18.
Whitehorse 10-year-old Lisa Freeman was the top female runner on the day with a time of 26:53.
Tara Grandy, who ran pushing a stroller with two small children in it, came in at 27:02. Sue Kemmett placed third for females at 27:18.
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