Whitehorse’s Stephan Atmanspacher runs past Jackson Lake during the Reckless Raven 50 Mile Ultra on July 2. Eighty-five runners took part in the inaugural event. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News)

Runners go ultra-far in new Whitehorse distance

‘I was thrilled to not have to run another step’

There were doubtless a lot of long-distance runners in Whitehorse who were glad Monday was a holiday after a very long Sunday.

Thirty-five solo runners and 25 two-person teams hit the trails for the inaugural Reckless Raven 50 Mile Ultra in and around Whitehorse on July 2.

“After the race I was feeling all kinds of things. Emotionally I was thrilled to not have to run another step. Physically my body was destroyed. But I was extremely happy with my results,” said Whitehorse’s Ian Weir. “I could not have been more impressed with the race. I think the organizers did an amazing job at picking and marking a difficult yet beautiful course. The event went very smoothly for the first year so a big thanks to the Reckless Raven crew.”

Weir was the top solo finisher in the race that started and finished at the Mount McIntyre Rec Centre in Whitehorse. The 25-year-old crossed the line in eight hours, 58 minutes and five seconds.

Weir has never done a marathon, to say nothing of a 50-mile (80.5-kilometre) race before.

“I have done a few 24-hour adventure races which include running, biking and canoeing but this was by far my longest strictly running event,” said Weir. “My training for the race started a bit later then I would have liked. I also learned a lot about what differences I will make for next time. I didn’t decide to do the Reckless Raven till about three months ago which is enough time to get ready but I would have prefers 16 weeks minimum.”

Weir, who won last year’s Long Lake Triathlon, came in with a pair of Whitehorse runners not far behind. Dominic Bradford finished in 9:05:19 for second and David Eikelboom in 9:15:45 for third.

“Overall, the race was an absolute success,” said Stephan Atmanspacher, a race organizer and participant. “We had phenomenal feedback from almost all the racers. Actually we had a guy from Europe and he said it beats any race he’s done in Europe so far. We had people from Ottawa, Vancouver, and we got overwhelming feedback from all of them — not only for the organization, but the trail as well, the scenic route.”

Vancouver’s Allison Thompson, who is currently living in Inuvik, took first in the solo female division. She completed the course — Mountt McIntyre to Raven’s Ridge to MacIntyre Marsh to Haeckel Hill to Sumanik Ridge to Jackson Lake to Sunshine Valley Ranch to Fish Lake to Mt. McIntyre Ascent Road to Copper Haul Road and back to Mount McIntyre — in 9:38:59, finishing fifth overall for solos.

“I ran with her for a while and she told me it was really difficult for her to train because, A, it was in the midst of winter when she had to start her training, and B, it’s pretty flat up there, so she couldn’t really train for hills too well,” said Atmanspacher. “So it’s really an impressive result for her.”

Carcross’ Denise McHale, a former national 100-kilometre champ, placed second in solo female at 10:27:23. Vancouver’s Christina Porte placed third at 10:42:15.

Whitehorse teams won all three two-person relay divisions.

Brian Horton and Dave Brook teamed up for the fastest time of the day — 8:30:41 — to win the male relay.

Lindsay Hutchison and Kristy Petovello (10:29:55) were the fastest female team.

Larra Daley and Tom Ullyett (11:03:15) were winners of the mixed relay.

No injuries were recorded, but there were a few scratches. Two relay teams and six solo runners dropped out during the race.

Organizers “absolutely” plan to make the ultra an annual event, said Atmanspacher.

“I would add a huge thank you to everyone that made the race happen,” added Weir. “I am also impressed with anyone who attempted to run either the full or the team event. That course was not easy and anyone willing to take it on deserves applause. A race like that is all about personal goals and discovering a lot about ones self.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

Top five finishers

Solo male

1st Ian Weir — 8:58:05

2nd Dominic Bradford — 9:05:19

3rd David Eikelboom — 9:15:45

4th Brendan Morphet — 9:36:49

5th Brian Stuart — 10:42:06

Solo female

1st Allison Thompson — 9:38:59

2nd Denise McHale — 10:27:23

3rd Christina Porte — 10:42:15

4th Jessie Gladish — 12:50:46

5th Bronwyn Benkert — 12:59:01

Male relay

1st Brian Horton/ Dave Brook — 8:30:41

2nd Ryan Davis/ Andrew Thompson — 9:40:54

3rd Stephan Atmanspacher/Maxime Aerts — 10:27:29

4th Scott Williams/ Ben Yu-Schott — 10:59:42

Female relay

1st Lindsay Hutchison/Kristy Petovello — 10:29:55

2nd Maura Sullivan/Deb Higgis — 10:42:32

3rd Kendra Murray/Sara Murray — 10:42:49

4th Sandra McDougall/Sue Bogel — 11:20:48

5th Kat Davis/Rebecca Davis — 11:40:54

Mixed relay

1st Larra Daley/Tom Ullyett — 11:03:15

2nd JF Roldan/Leslie Doran — 11:25:44

3rd Griffith Wynn/Kristy Zichowka — 11:47:45

4th Colin Hickman/Sara Galbraith — 11:49:10

5th Matt Sprau/Erin Trochim — 12:47:37

Denise McHale, left, and Brian Stuart run down a section of trail near Jackson Lake. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News)

runningUltra

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

Just Posted

City of Whitehorse staff will report back to city council members in three months, detailing where efforts are with the city’s wildfire risk reduction strategy and action plan for 2021 to 2024. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Council adopts wildfire risk reduction plan

Staff will report on progress in three months

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Nov. 25, 2020

Ivan, centre, and Tennette Dechkoff, right, stop to chat with a friend on Main Street in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. Starting Dec. 1 masks will be mandatory in public spaces across the Yukon in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Masks mandatory in public places starting on Dec. 1

“The safe six has just got a plus one,” Silver said.

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

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

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

Most Read