Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for August 27, 2012

Ray Sabo leads the way in Chocolate Claim 10-miler

The final major race tune-up for the Klondike Road Relay took place in Whitehorse yesterday morning.

By Sam Riches on August 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm

The final major race tune-up for the Klondike Road Relay took place in Whitehorse yesterday morning.

More than 40 runners took part in the Chocolate Claim Pre-Skagway 10-Miler, a challenging course that starts and ends at Rotary Park.

The route includes three major climbs, including the first two hills on Schwatka Lake Road and another on Chadburn Lake Road.

Leading the way was Ray Sabo, a former University of Alaska NCAA skier.

Sabo reached the finish in one hour, one minute and 45 seconds.

Sabo was able to shake off the ghosts of last week’s Yukon 10-kilometre championships, where he placed second overall by just one second.

The winner of that race, Rodney Hulstein, was absent from this year’s 10-miler.

Hulstein hasn’t participated in the race since he came first overall in 2010, burning through the course in under an hour.

Another notable absentee was junior runner Logan Roots.

Both Roots and Hulstein are considered the top runners in the territory.

Roots put forth a dominant effort earlier this month in the Yukon River Trail Marathon, where he placed first by nearly 24 minutes.

He was less than five minutes behind the course record set by Anchorage-based runner Matias Saari in the 2011 event.

Despite the absences, the race till displayed top-flight athleticism and close finishes.

Arriving in the finish line in second place was Mike Richards.

He was less than twenty seconds behind Sabo.

Richards shared the podium earlier this summer with Team Zipline, who dominated the mixed team category of the Whitehorse Triathlon, winning the division by more than 25 minutes.

Coming in third was Dominic Bradford, another accomplished skier who placed fourth overall in the men’s 50-km division of the Buckwheat Ski Classic held near the B.C. and Alaska border this past March. Bradford completed the race in 1:02:39.

On the women’s side Lauren Whyte continued her unbelievable season.

Whyte took home first place with a time of 1:30:29 and has won nearly every race
she has entered this summer.

A newcomer to the local running circuit at the start of the season, Whyte has earned her stripes over the past few months by consistently blowing by the competition.

Janet Clarke placed second, arriving less then eight minutes behind Whyte and Stephanie Schorr was third in 1:30:23

Jane Haydock was the lone walker, braving the cold and completing the distance in 2:00:42.

The 10-miler route follows the Riverwall portion of the Millennium trail to the Schwatka Lake Road, continues on to Miles Canyon Road, leading runners to the suspension bridge before they sprint down the Chadburn Lake Road and back to Rotary Park.

“The weather was great, sunny and a bit cool but there wasn’t much of a wind,” said local running mainstay, Tom Ullyett who said he found motivation in the large pack of runners.

“I was lucky enough to run with a group of guys and that always makes a race more interesting and keeps you more honest about your pace,” he said.

“It allows you to be strategic and tactical, it’s harder to do that when you’re out there by yourself but when there’s other people around it usually opens up a whole array of opportunities.”

Ullyett placed fifth overall, just edging by Jan Plavec in a sprint finish.

The runners also found motivation in the cooler temperatures and clear skies.

“The weather really encouraged people,” said Ullyett.

“It helped them on their runs and encouraged them to stay after the race, at least stay until the Chocolate Claim cake was raffled off.”

The course featured a minor re-route this year due to the construction at F.H. Collins Secondary School but the distance remained the same.

The race serves as the last large event before the annual Klondike Trail of ’98 International Road Relay between Whitehorse and Skagway, Alaska.

Scarecrow has won the relay for the last two years, becoming the first Canadian team to win in 17 years when they captured their first victory in 2010.

The road relay will depart from Skagway on September 7th.

Top six results:


Ray Sabo           1:01:45

Mike Richards       1:02:01

Dominic Bradford   1:02:39

Karl Blattman       1:04:27

Tom Ullyett           1:08:06

Jan Plavec           1:08:07


Lauren Whyte       1:20:39

Janet Clarke         1:27:46

Stephanie Schorr     1:30:23

Haley Henderson     1:31:10

Robin Fairburn       1:31:47

Angie Sabo           1:31:47


Jane Haydock       2:00:42

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