The Yukon Arctic Ultramarathon
is one of the toughest foot races in the world. The competitors
fall into three categories: Those that run a regular 26 mile
marathon, those that run a 100 mile ultramarathon and the real
hardcore runners who run a 320 mile race. This year, due to the
temperature extremes of -40C and colder, the race had to be diverted
and re-routed to keep the runners as safe as possible. It was
so cold that the snowmobiles that were acting as safety vehicles
were failing. I've been told that this year's event was the coldest
marathon ever run, including the ones that have been run at the
north & south poles!
To make things even tougher,
the ultra runners tow all their own equipment and food behind
them in a sled and they sleep outside if they need to rest during
the race (Which takes about a week for the 320 mile version).
At least half of the runners drop out, mostly due to frostbite.
All this and there is no prize