The 23 rules for participating in Yukon Arctic Ultra Race
In order to participate in the Yukon Arctic Ultra Race, it is crucial to know all the rules given by the official organizers. “Many changes have already been made to the original list during the preparation time,“ said Joel Juht, the first Estonian to participate in this insane marathon starting on the 3rd of February 2019.
The race can end sooner than expected for many participants
Unfortunately not all racers make it to the finish line. During the marathon, each participant must visit all given checkpoints where they observe the athletes physical and mental health and check the equipment. Every participant who is sweating more than they should and/or are too exhausted, must stay/rest at the checkpoint for 4 hours. The race director and crew has the right to disqualify any athlete who is in a life-threatening situation. Participants who forget essential gear at a checkpoint, will get a time penalty of 6 hours per item. Forgetting mandatory gear may result in a time penalty of up to 12 hours and depending on the circumstances even disqualification. This also goes for the equipment that is lost on the trail.
Athletes must mark all their food items with their race bib number. Racers must not leave anything behind on the trail. Toilet paper either needs to be transported out or burned by the participant. There are time limits for some checkpoints during the marathon. If conditions become absolutely life-threatening due to storms and/or extreme cold, advisors may stop the race at any time.
Athletes must follow state road laws while on roads (e.g. stay on the right, look before crossing roads etc.). If the participant knows he/she is going to sleep in between checkpoints, they have to tell the crew that they intend to do so. Athletes must sleep off the main trail, but still in sight of the trail, so other racers and snow machine rovers can spot them. If the participant is sleeping and wants to be evacuated, he/she needs to attach the emergency tape (which athletes receive prior to race start) clearly visible to their trekking poles or a stick/tree nearby. Guides on snow mobiles will then stop and wake up the participant if needed. When athlete is starting their sleep time they need to push the “Custom Message Button” on their SPOT.
There might not be enough food and water for each athlete
The race crew will serve one hot meal upon the arrival of the athlete at each checkpoint. Participants are warned that at remote checkpoints it may be impossible to serve food in certain scenarios. Therefore, athletes must bring back-up meals for each. “I’m not worried about my food supply because I brought a good amount,” said Joel Juht. All checkpoints provide hot water. However, at remote checkpoints it may be impossible to serve the requested quantities at all times. In that case the athlete has to wait until enough hot water is available again or use his/hers own stove to melt snow. Athletes do need to leave each checkpoint with at least 3 liters of water filled in insulated flasks.