Orienteerers brave the elements at long championship

The final installment of the Yukon Orienteering Championship wasn't just the longest, it was the coldest and wettest.

The final installment of the Yukon Orienteering Championship wasn’t just the longest, it was the coldest and wettest.

The long distance championship was originally supposed to have taken place in June but was postponed due to a bear in the area.

Instead of bears, the 34 participants had to deal with chilly temperature and a constant drizzle at the event held on the Long Lake southeast map, just next to Whitehorse General Hospital, on Wednesday.

“Unfortunately a lot of people are away right now and the nasty weather probably didn’t help either. It wasn’t a huge field,” said Whitehorse’s Brent Langbakk.

Langbakk, a five-time Team Canada member at the world championships, took first on the 6.2-kilometrre expert course with a time of 52 minutes and 55 seconds.

Many of Yukon’s top orienteerers have already left for Atlantic Canada for the Canadian Orienteering Championships, but Langbakk still had some stiff competition.

Whitehorse’s Trevor Bray, who recently competed at his fourth Junior World Orienteering Championships in Norway, came second with a time of 55:23.

“I knew to beat him I’d need to have a pretty good race,” said Langbakk. “My race went pretty well, actually. It was fairly clean. My fitness is coming around a little bit, so that’s good.”

Whitehorse’s Jennifer MacKeigan, the only female in the expert division, wasn’t far behind. The 22-year-old, who has also competed at a junior worlds, placed fourth overall on the expert course with a time of 83:31.

MacKeigan just returned from competing at the Scottish 6 Days orienteering tournament.

“I just got back from a big tournament race in Scotland and I haven’t had a rest-day yet so, yes, I was tired,” said MacKeigan, a member of Canada’s high-performance program. “There was a lot of trail running legs, which just took it out of me.

“It fun, it was enjoyable. A little cold, but otherwise it was good.”

The long championship also marked a third straight win for Savannah Cash. Cash won the advanced course in the sprint, the intermediate course in the middle and the intermediate course on Wednesday.

Contact Tom Patrick at



Expert (6.2 km)

1st Brent Langbakk – 52:55

2nd Trevor Bray – 55:23

3rd Afan Jones – 63:39

4th Jennifer MacKeigan – 83:31

5th Gerry Willomitzer – 85:20

6th Darren Holcombe – 87:49

7th Dave Hildes – 105:58

Advanced (4.7 km)

1st Kerstin Burnett – 68:28

2nd Ryan Kelly – 75:49

3rd Bob Sagar – 80:39

4th Pascale Marceau – 86:29

5th Linda MacKeigan – 116:01

Intermediate (3.7 km)

1st Savannah Cash – 44:20

2nd Lara Melnik – 54:15

3rd Ev Pasichnyk – 73:57

4th Tess Lawrence – 74:13

5th Violet van Hees – 80:03

6th Darcy Olesen/Leo Willomitzer – DNF

Novice (2.0 km)

1st Andrea McNeil/Brower family – 29:14

2nd Pippa McNeil/Stian Langbakk – 29:14

3rd Elvira Knaack/Maura Glenn – 46:45

4th Van Tongeren family – 48:26

5th Koh family – 49:04

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

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read