Mixed team wins City Chase

Team Edmonton’s James Dean and Team Ottawa’s Chris McQuinn began the 2012 City Chase Canadian Championships over the weekend in Whitehorse as competitors.

Team Edmonton’s James Dean and Team Ottawa’s Chris McQuinn began the 2012 City Chase Canadian Championships over the weekend in Whitehorse as competitors. They ended the urban adventure race as teammates and champions.

In a first-time occurrence in City Chase, their partners were eliminated during a paintball challenge, so Dean and McQuinn combined to make a mixed Edmonton-Ottawa team.

They placed first with a winning time of 36 hours and 20 minutes.

“We were quite upset, obviously, each losing a teammate,” said Dean, whose partner David Quaschnick was ousted. “We’re still upset about it, but it’s still just a game. Still, it was tough.

“One of City Chase’s mottos is, ‘Expect the unexpected.’ They definitely threw that at us early this morning.”

“It’s bitter-sweet,” said McQuinn. “I race with Scott (Chisholm) all the time but the way the race works is like that: you’ve got roll with the punches.”

Ten teams, representing seven provincial capitals, competed in the event that organizers call “the world’s largest urban adventure series.”

City Chase creators drew their inspiration for the annual event, started in 2004, from the CBS program the Amazing Race. If the City Chase championship was a television show, there would be enough material to fill a season.


Beginning Friday morning at 4 a.m., teams went through fireman challenges, mountain biked to Mount Sima to go through the WildPlay obstacle course and down the zip line, built rafts and rode them down the Yukon River, dug for treasure in the Carcross Desert, had a chili cook-off – the list goes on and on.

There were also some quintessentially Yukon challenges, such as gold panning, dry-land dog mushing, Dene games and fly-fishing.

“The people of Whitehorse really stepped up and helped us out,” said Dean. “We had one woman let us into her house and we got in a bubble bath with candles, because we needed a video of that. She allowed us to make a meal in her kitchen, and we got a video of that. And they gave us a newspaper because we needed a picture of me reading a paper at a bus stop in only my underwear.”

Crossing the finish line at the S.S. Klondike Saturday afternoon marked Dean’s fourth time winning the event in five attempts, placing second last year. He and partner Quaschnick also won the world championships in Rome, Italy, in 2007.

“This is the most adventurous City Chase national championship I’ve done,” said Dean. “It’s raw, in the wild, out there taking advantage of the incredible terrain Yukon has.

“It was very hard on the body but beautiful on the eyes.”

It was McQuinn’s sixth time in the national championship and his first time winning.

“It was great,” said McQuinn. “We’ve never raced in a city before where the outdoors are so accessible. It’s amazing. This place is a gem.

“We kind of underestimated all the outdoor things you can do in Whitehorse.”

Team Vancouver – John Markez and past champion Nicki Rehn – placed second with a time of 37 hours and 40 minutes. Team Montreal – Alain Lacasse and Brigitte Nehma – took third with a time of 38 hours, 55 minutes.

The Yukon was not represented in the event. Organizers felt locals would have too big an advantage in the race with in depth knowledge of Whitehorse, like knowing the quickest route from Rotary Park to the Yukon Brewing brewery, as teams were forced to learn.

The City Chase organization has not ruled out the possibility of holding a qualifying event in Whitehorse, like those held in the seven cites represented, in the future, said Dave Nash, a partner with InField Marking Group, the company behind City Chase.

“It’s possible for sure,” said Nash. “Typically speaking, we’ve held this in cities that are a minimum of 150,000 – typically more like four or 500,000 – because there’s a volume perspective to hosting a regional event.

“Certainly there are regional events close by, in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary (that Yukoners can enter).”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 30. Hanley announced three more COVID-19 cases in a release on Nov. 21. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three more COVID-19 cases, new exposure notice announced

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brendan Hanley, announced three… Continue reading

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: COVID-19 strikes another blow at high-school students

They don’t show up very often in COVID-19 case statistics, but they… Continue reading

The Cornerstone housing project under construction at the end of Main Street in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. Community Services Minister John Streicker said he will consult with the Yukon Contractors Association after concerns were raised in the legislature about COVID-19 isolation procedures for Outside workers at the site. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Concerns raised about alternate self-isolation plans for construction

Minister Streicker said going forward, official safety plans should be shared across a worksite

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley, pictured at a press conference in October, announced three new cases of COVID-19 on Nov. 20 as well as a new public exposure notice. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New COVID-19 cases, public exposure notice announced

The new cases have all been linked to previous cases

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

City council was closed to public on March 23 due to gathering rules brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The council is now hoping there will be ways to improve access for residents to directly address council, even if it’s a virtual connection. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Solution sought to allow for more public presentations with council

Teleconference or video may provide opportunities, Roddick says

Megan Waterman, director of the Lastraw Ranch, is using remediated placer mine land in the Dawson area to raise local meat in a new initiative undertaken with the Yukon government’s agriculture branch. (Submitted)
Dawson-area farm using placer miner partnership to raise pigs on leased land

“Who in their right mind is going to do agriculture at a mining claim? But this made sense.”

Riverdale residents can learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s plan to FireSmart a total of 24 hectares in the area of Chadburn Lake Road and south of the Hidden Lakes trail at a meeting on Nov. 26. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Meeting will focus on FireSmart plans

Riverdale residents will learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s FireSmarting… Continue reading

The City of Whitehorse is planning to borrow $10 million to help pay for the construction of the operations building (pictured), a move that has one concillor questioning why they don’t just use reserve funds. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Councillor questions borrowing plan

City of Whitehorse would borrow $10 million for operations building

Most Read