Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Photo Submitted

FROSTY FINISH – Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra athlete Jovica Spajic is seen at the finish line of the race early this morning at Pelly Crossing. He and the other competitors started the race from Shipyards Park in Whitehorse Sunday morning. Photos courtesy Mark Kelly/Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra

Image title

Photo by Vince Fedoroff

MIGHTY MARATHONERS – Whitehorse’s Adam Luciano, left and Mexico’s Oswaldo Moreno Terrazas pose for a photo prior to the start of the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra at Shipyards Park in Whitehorse Sunday. Luciano won the marathon. Moreno Terrazas finished sixth.

Image title

Photo by Vince Fedoroff

CHILLY CROWD – Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra athletes are seen shortly after leaving Shipyards Park in Whitehorse Sunday

Serbian athlete takes first place in the Yukon Ultra

Jovica Spajic has won the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra (MYAU).

By Morris Prokop on February 9, 2024

Jovica Spajic has won the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra (MYAU).

According to a Facebook post by MYAU administrator Callum Jolliffe, Spajic, of Belgrade, Serbia reached Pelly Crossing just before 1 a.m. today.

Joliffe posted, “At the front of the foot discipline since the start of the race, never stopping for long, and always with a look of determination on his face, Jovica set out to achieve this race for his loved ones and for his country - We think he did them all proud, and with incredible speed!”

Challenges seem to be the name of the game with this winter’s big sporting events in the Yukon.

The Yukon Quest suffered it’s share of obstacles, including having to change the start time and location and shortening the race, and the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra (MYAU) is no exception.

Challenges so far include coping with the cold, injuries, open water and even a trip to the Whitehorse Emergency department for surgery.

Athletes also had to be transported past open water near McCabe Creek.

Athletes were competing in a marathon, a 100 mile race and a 300 mile race this year.

In a Facebook post yesterday, race organizer Robert Polhammer said Daniel Benhammou (Littleton, Colorado) and John Nakel (Perry, Georgia) were with him in Carmacks and ready to be brought to McCabe, where they were continuing on to Pelly Crossing.

Benhammou was listed at mile 269.8, 6.8 miles from Pelly Farm, and Nakel was close behind at mile 268.2 as of 11 a.m. today.

Alan Purdue (Brigend, Wales) was moving towards Pelly Crossing at mile 220.8.

Alla Bova (Stafford, U.S.) and Todd Robertson (Boulder, Colorado) have both scratched.

All of the above athletes are on foot.

Meanwhile, fatbiker Scott Herron finished first in the 100 mile race to Braeburn.

Adam Luciano finished first in the marathon.

Herron and Luciano are both from Whitehorse.

One of the Ultra 100 athletes, Alex de Sain of Amsterdam, also ran into trouble, according to Polhammer.

“Tuesday night, on his approach to Braeburn he started suffering from stomach pains. We brought him to Braeburn by snowmobile and then on to Whitehorse Hospital. The diagnosis meant he needed immediate surgery, which he got. Now Alex is recovering. It’s of course a nightmare to come to a race you want to enjoy and then have that taken away from you in this way. But we are all glad he is safe and the entire MYAU team wishes him a good and fast recovery.”

There were many challenges in this year’s race, but Spajic overcame them all.

Be the first to comment

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.