Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Chuck Tobin

ON THE MOVE – Youth teams arrive and depart checkpoint nine at the Annie Lake Road early Saturday morning in the 36th annual Klondike Trail of 98 Road Relay.

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Photo by Chuck Tobin

LOOK OF EXHAUSTION – Roger Hanberg of the Shier Law Runners from Whitehorse, right, hands off to teammate Chris Locke after completing the 8.8 mile run from Carcross.

Quantum Running Machines take seventh consecutive title in road relay

They didn’t set a record for a Yukon team as they had set out to do.

By Whitehorse Star on September 10, 2018

They didn’t set a record for a Yukon team as they had set out to do. But the 10 men from Whitehorse on the team Gettin’ Buzzed still finished first overall in the 36th running of the Klondike Trail of 98 Road Relay from Skagway to Whitehorse.

Team captain Colin Abbott said they pulled the team together specifically to break the record of just over 11 hours but they fell short.

There was a bit of a head wind early in the race where there’s normally a tail wind but it was not enough to take away their shot at the record, said Abbott, who was unable to run because of an injury suffered during the recent orienteering championships.

The team captain said it just wasn’t their day but they did run well, finishing in the first-place time of 11 hours, 38 minutes and 56 seconds, or just shy of four hours ahead of the Rain Dogs from Alaska who finished in second in the open category in 15:32:59.

“It was really consistent,” Abbott said of the individual efforts. “Everybody ran smart, consistent runs. We have done this a few times.

“Everybody was able to pull out a solid race so that was pretty nice.”

Most of the team was averaging in the range of 9.5 miles an hour range, though David Eikelboom cranked it up to 10.7 mph on the fifth leg while Alain Masson was down to 6.7 on leg two, though it was straight up hill to the summit.

Third in the open category in a time of 15:38:47 was the C.C. Striders from Juneau.

The all-time relay record of 10:16 was set in 1990 by the Juneau B from Auke Bay.

More than 1,700 runners and walkers participated in the relay which began Friday night in Skagway and went well into Saturday. Of the 192 teams, 167 were full relay teams of 10 runners, with the exception of a handful of teams who had runners doing two legs instead of one.

In the women’s category, the top three positions were taken by Whitehorse runners, with the Yukon Lady Crushers finishing first in a time of 14:54:05. Winterlooooong was second in 16:23:37 and the Jogger Jams was third in 16:48:45.

In the mixed category, Take No Prisoners Dirt Skags from Anchorage finished first in 12:07:54, or more than an hour ahead of second-place Longest Game of Tag Ever. Longest Game, an American team of runners from everywhere, finished in 13:09:24 while the MoHoers from Anchorage was third in 13:28:27.

“This is my first year,” said Kenny Brewer who ran the first and last leg for the MoHoers. “But we have a couple of veterans on the team. They had a couple of spots open so I jumped on. It was a blast.”

The Shier Law Runners of Whitehorse repeated as champions in the masters open class, in a time of 14:58:08 and Los(t) Lobos of Juneau was second in 16:50:36.

In the womens master category, the Quantum Running Machines of Whitehorse won their seventh consecutive title, in a time of 16:04:34, or 35 minutes ahead of second-place Good Women Are Hard to Find from Juneau. The Glacial Erratics of Alaska was third in 17:39:06.

The Quantum team also recorded the second fastest time for a women’s team overall, team captain Joanne Van Bibber-Widrig pointed out in a post-race interview. “It went really well.

“I am really proud of our team of great runners,” she said. “We like to win but the essence of our team is the camaraderie and the fact we all like to run.”

Van Bibber-Widrig noted that teammate Tamara Goeppel was two seconds off of recording the fastest time for a woman on leg seven coming out of Carcross.

“We had three runners in the top three on their legs.”

The masters mixed title went to The Classics from Anchorage, with a time of 16:04:46, or well ahead of the Whitehorse team The New Thirty who finished second in 19:16:06. Metcalfes and Friends from Alaska was third in 20:35:08.

In the corporate class which requires half of the team to be with the same employer, the championship went to Hard Coeur from Juneau with a time of 15:58:29. The Horny Goats, made up of Canadian runners from everywhere, was second in 16:07:49.

Northwestel High Speed of Whitehorse was third in 16:24:33.

The Baby Blues, a team of athletes from the Yukon Ski Club, won the youth category, which involved a relay starting in Carcross with each runner running half a leg. But Baby Blues runner Romeo Champagne did run all of leg seven. It was the second win in three tries for the Baby Blues.

“It was hard,” said Victor Thibeault, a 15-year-old F.H. Collins student who ran the anchor leg for the Baby Blues which involved the Miles Canyon Road. “I had lots of uphills.”

The Baby Blues finished in 5:28:37, or just 11 minutes ahead of Extreme Green of Whitehorse.

The Road Hogs from Juneau were in third but far not back with a time of 5:41:13.

In the walking relay from Carcross, first, second and third went to Whitehorse teams. All Girls and a Guy finished first, SANPO was second and third place went to Aff-Gang.

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