The Yukon Ultra: Day 3 – “My Money’s on You”

The Yukon Ultra: Day 3 – “My Money’s on You”

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6th February

At 08.30 I got up and saw Filippo had already left. Returning to the cafe, I could see the 100 milers packing up their things. They were getting ready to go back to Whitehorse. Jim, Bob, Karl and Jorgen, the guys I had travelled and spoken with the most, were all there. As glad as I was to see them, I also felt a pang of sadness. I knew the 300 mile runners were spread out already. From now on I would be alone and Filippo was already 3 hours ahead. I got ready to leave and said my goodbyes but before I set off, Karl put two bags of Rolos in my hands.

Throughout that morning I made great time. By 1.30pm I had travelled a further 24km. I was now making my way along the endless chainlakes which stretched to the horizon. There were no shadows out there, making distance almost impossible to judge. It wasn’t long before Glen came up in his snowmobile. ‘You’re just 5km behind Filippo,’ he said, ‘my money’s on you.’ That meant I’d clawed almost 2 hours from his lead. I was just 2km behind him when I made my first big mistake. The afternoon rolled on and I stopped to get a waterbottle out of my sled. It was frozen completely. I knew then I should have kept it inside my fleece. I felt really stupid and that tiny mistake really lowered my morale. As night fell, I went slower and slower and got more frustrated at my lack of progress.

My tiredness and dehydration threatened to jepordise my race when a part of me said ‘hey, you’re 2nd place in the toughest race there is. You can afford to take a break.’ So I set up camp, melted some snow to make water and had a few hours sleep. It turned out to be a great decision. My sled now felt lighter and my speed picked up again. But so had the wind. It had blown the snow off the final lake before the checkpoint, leaving the bare ice underneath. I slipped and slided my way along until the faint whiff of woodsmoke reached my nose. I had been told in the race briefing that I’d smell woodsmoke just before Ken Lake checkpoint. I ran the last km like a madman, up a short ascent to the cabin that was Ken Lake checkpoint.

Tim Williamson - Aug 13, 2012 | The Yukon Arctic Ultra
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