Running up and down a mountain in good conditions would seem like a chore to many. Doing it in the winter might seem a little nutty.
Members of Athletics Yukon would disagree.
About 35 runners and walkers braved the elements to participate in the Winter Solstice Run/Walk up Grey Mountain on Saturday, the last event of the year for Athletics Yukon.
Participants endured temperatures under minus-10 during the 10.4-kilometre round trip along Grey Mountain Road from the upper parking lot to the summit and back.
“At the top there’s like three feet of powder, so the snowshoes really helped a lot with that,” said Logan Boehmer, one of only two who wore snowshoes.
Though not an official race, Boehmer was was the first to the summit and the first back to the parking lot in a time of one hour, five minutes.
Looking forward to hot beverages at the finish didn’t hurt.
“It was awesome,” said Boehmer. “It’s great with Athletics Yukon – they always have good coffee and good snacks.”
Lauren Whyte was the first female back with a time of one hour, 21 minutes. It was her first time in the event, having moved to Whitehorse from Vancouver in June.
“It was nice, it was difficult, but it was a lot of fun,” said Whyte.
Both Boehmer and Whyte competed in the Summer Solstice Run/Walk in June, which used the same course. Boehmer placed second in the race with a time of 48:22 and Whyte won the women’s division with a time of 55:51.
Whyte was named Fastest Female Runner of the Year by Athletics Yukon at the Sport Yukon Awards Night two weeks ago.
She took first in the open women’s half distance division at the Yukon River Trail Marathon in August. She also was the top female runner in the Mount Lorne Misadventure and the Chocolate Claim Pre-Skagway 10 Miler
Whyte placed second at the Yukon Cross Country Championships in September.
In 2007, Whyte won the five-kilometre distance at the Quebec University Cross-Country Championships while on the track team at McGill University in Montreal.
Boehmer took second for males 20-24 in the half distance category of the Victoria Marathon in October.
He has represented the Yukon in athletics (and basketball) at major Games, most recently running track at the 2011 Western Canada Summer Games in Kamloops, B.C.
Saturday’s event was used to help collect non-perishable food items for the Whitehorse Food Bank.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org