Local skiers domiante 15th annual Yukon Energy Haeckel Hill Run and Walk
It's probably the toughest run and walk in the Yukon under 10-kilometres.
It’s probably the toughest run and walk in the Yukon under 10-kilometres.
It’s even tougher than the iconic Dome Run in Dawson City. It’s been a favourite (and somewhat dreaded) event in Whitehorse’s running and walking circuit since the mid-1990’s when it was established by former Whitehorse cyclist and runner Michael Barton now of Norway.
The 7.2-kilometre Yukon Energy Haeckel Hill Run & Walk starts near the Icy Waters Fish Hatchery and finishes close to the wind mills on top of Haeckel Hill.
It takes place on a steep, rutted gravel road that is wet in places from melting snow.
The route is, except for a few hundred meters, all uphill with 600 metres of vertical rise.
Last Saturday, more than 30 runners and walkers tackled the Yukon Energy Haeckel Hill Run & Walk.
The fastest runners were ones who had recently traded their cross country skis for running shoes.
In the open men’s category, Colin Abbott, a former member of the Carleton University Nordic Ski Team, led the way with a time (33:24) that was just two minutes shy of the course record.
Abbott was closely followed by Knute Johnsgaard (33:49), a member of the National Cross Country Ski Team.
High octane cross country skiers John Parry (34:18) and David Greer (34:19) battled it all the way up the mountain, sprinted to the finish and then finished just one second apart.
Former University of Alaska NCAA skier Ray Sabo (34:56) finished in fifth spot and held off Yukon Cross Country Ski Team member Fabian Brook (35:25) and Carleton University skier Logan Potter (37:32).
In the women’s open category, climber and soccer player Ella Parker (44:18) was the fastest runner.
She was followed by an impressive line-up of runners including University of Alaska skier Marit Ryabou (46:11), Amelia Fraser (52:01), Samantha Wilson (51:36).
In the women’s masters category, multi-sport athlete Angie Sabo (52:01) edged out triathlete Donna Jones (52:45).
In the masters men’s category, Dan Shier (55:30) had a commanding lead and would have undoubtedly been the first masters runner, but he developed leg cramps, had to stop running and walk to the top.
Shier’s misfortune allowed Tom Ullyett (41:19) and Scott Gilbert (41:23) to battle it out for top honours. Ullyett pulled ahead of Gilbert with just one-kilometre to the finishline.
Finishing third was Steve Cash (45:25) and just 14 seconds behind Cash was Yukon’s top running coach Don White (45:44).
White was trailed by the unstoppable Ross Knox (49:25), race organizer Bryan Craven (52:31) and the sleek Keith Lay (54:54).
The walkers may have faced the biggest challenge of all participants because it took them up to twice as long as the fastest runners to ascend the unrelenting route up Haeckel Hill.
Leading all walkers was former runner turned avid power walker Becky Streigler (1:03) who finished just a few minutes behind the last of the runners.
Streigler was followed by noted male power walker Rick Griffiths (1:04), Mike Ivens (1:06), Susan Dennehy (1:09) and Maggie Griffiths (1:14).