Lindsay Carson of Burnaby, B.C., approaches the finish of the 2019 Yukon River Trail Marathon on Aug. 4 in Whitehorse. Carson finished first in the women’s open half marathon with a time of one hour, 30 minutes and 57 seconds. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

River Trail Marathon tests runners with heat and sun

“It was very hot in the second half, but the volunteers are amazing and there is water often”

More than 200 runners were up early on Aug. 4 for the 2019 Yukon River Trail Marathon beginning and ending at Rotary Park in Whitehorse.

Racing under a bright blue sky, rising temperatures as the day wore on made for some particularly taxing conditions for runners.

The winner of this year’s 42.2-kilometre marathon was Roger Hosking of Whitehorse, who finished with a time of three hours, 55 minutes and 28 seconds.

Second place went to another Yukoner, Gordon Townson, with a time of four hours, two minutes and 49 seconds.

The fastest woman in the race was Krestena Sullivan from Kitchener, Ont., who finished in four hours, seven minutes and 53 seconds. Close behind was her sister, Whitehorse’s Maura Sullivan with a time of four hours, 13 minutes and two seconds.

Krestena said she and Maura ran together for the first portion of the race, but separated once they reached the trails.

“We were still close to each other, but on the trails you can’t really see each other that well,” said Krestena. “It was very hot in the second half, but the volunteers are amazing and there is water often.”

This was the first marathon for Krestena, and far from her typical training race.

“I’ve only run on pavement until two weeks ago,” she said. “My longest run was 37 km, but it was on flat cement and it doesn’t take this long when you’re on pavement.”

As someone who often visits the city, Krestena said she had some familiarity with portions of the trail but that the unfamiliarity was a bit of a mixed blessing.

“In some ways it’s easier because you don’t know how much farther, but some things about it make it harder too,” said Krestena. “Sometimes it was easier, but then I was like, ‘When is Heartbreak Hill? I should be recognizing it. It should be coming soon.’ It felt sooner when we were fresh last week (on a training run.)”

The overall winner of this year’s half marathon was Lindsay Carson of Burnaby, B.C., with a time of one hour, 30 minutes and 57 seconds.

Second spot in the half marathon went to Geoff Dunbrack who finished in one hour, 34 minutes and two seconds.

Rounding out the podium was Magnus Kaltenborn with a time of one hour, 35 minutes and 26 seconds.

In addition to individual runners, the River Trail Marathon also included a relay category with the full marathon course split into four legs. A total of 33 teams raced this year.

First to finish was the creatively named Team 5 with a combined time of three hours, 53 minutes and 55 seconds.

Second place went to the Freeman Family with a time of four hours, 15 minutes and 48 seconds.

In third place was Generational Divide with a time of four hours, 16 minutes and three seconds.

The final group for the race was the half marathon walker category.

Heather Gillis was this year’s winner with a time of three hours, 39 minutes and eight seconds. Skagway’s Becky Jensen finished second with a time of three hours, 41 minutes and 47 seconds.

Lisa Ottenbreit finished third with a time of three hours, 51 minutes and 39 seconds.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at

2019 Yukon River Trail Marathon Results


1 Roger Hosking 3:55:28

2 Gordon Townson 4:02:49

3 Krestena Sullivan 4:07:53

4 Maura Sullivan 4:13:02

5 Duncan Hillhouse 4:24:31

6 Bryan Sehmel 4:29:18

7 Rob Rees 4:39:03

8 Georges Beland 4:44:15

9 Christina Harper 4:52:23

10 Jules Farkas 4:55:51

Half marathon

1 Lindsay Carson 1:30:57

2 Geoff Dunbrack 1:34:02

3 Magnus Kaltenborn 1:35:26

4 Jonathan Zaugg 1:39:19

5 Jeff Larsen 1:40:17

6 Gregory Ablett 1:40:44

7 Chris Frazar 1:44:43

8 Laurent Jacques 1:48:52

9 Norman Hertwig 1:51:40

10 Olivier Roy-Jauvin 1:53:13


1 Team 5 3:53:55

2 Freeman Family 4:15:48

3 Generational Divide 4:16:03

4 The Painter Sisters 4:18:57

5 2 Fast 2 Furious 4:19:54

6 Couples Therapy 4:21:33

7 River Runners 4:33:30

8 Ragged Running Russell 4:35:26

9 Polarity 4:38:08

10 Blistering Babes 4:39:51

Half marathon walker

1 Heather Gillis 3:39:08

2 Becky Jensen 3:41:47

3 Lisa Ottenbreit 3:51:39

4 Grace Snider 4:04:00

5 Kim Porter 4:04:00

6 Jamie Robinson 4:16:21

7 Melissa Robinson 4:16:22

8 Shari Heal 4:40:31

9 Brianna Heal 4:40:32

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Magnus Kaltenborn finished second in the men’s open half marathon. Kaltenborn finished with a time of one hour, 35 minutes and 26 seconds. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Chris Frazar of Seattle finished second in the men’s masters half marathon at the 2019 Yukon River Trail Marathon on Aug. 4 in Whitehorse. Frazar had a time of one hour, 44 minutes and 43 seconds. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Whitehorse’s Roger Hosking won the 2019 Yukon River Trail Marathon on Aug. 4 with a time of three hours, 55 minutes and 28 seconds. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

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