Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Marcel Vander Wier

A GRUELING TREK – Ultra runners Houston Laws, left, and Klas Stolpe completed every step of the 176.5-kilometre Klondike Road Relay, finishing in less than 24 hours.

Image title

Photo by Marcel Vander Wier

CHEERLEADERS – Runners form a tunnel for their teammate to pass through near Emerald Lake Saturday.

Image title

Photo by Marcel Vander Wier

WALK IN THE RAIN – Beverly Gelston of Juneau walks the South Klondike Highway for Team Survivor - Hear Me Roar.

Image title

Photo by Marcel Vander Wier

GETTING THERE – A runner nears Carcross early Saturday morning.

Image title

Photo by Marcel Vander Wier

THE LAST FEW METRES – Whitehorse's Brian Power of Power Factor makes his way to the finish line Saturday afternoon.

Image title

Photo by Marcel Vander Wier

ROADSIDE SCENES – Runners enjoyed the fall colours along the highway during the road relay.

Stolpe runs entire trail in memory of late friend

Following the most grueling run of his life, Klas Stolpe said he’s learned at least one thing about himself.

By Marcel Vander Wier on September 9, 2014

Following the most grueling run of his life, Klas Stolpe said he’s learned at least one thing about himself.

“I will never eat another goo again as long as I live,” the 55-year-old sports editor of the Juneau Empire told the Star Saturday.

Stolpe and fellow Juneau runner, Houston Laws, became the first two runners to complete the entire 176.5-km route in one swoop over the rain-filled weekend.

The two rested at several points, attempting to refuel their bodies with energy gel treats, known as goo.

“I hit a couple of walls,” said Stolpe, who said his longest previous run was close to 100 kilometres in the mountains surrounding Juneau.

“This is totally different. I hate pavement. We took it a step at a time.

“Toward the last half of the race, we figured out we were going to walk up the hills ... There were muscles getting sore that I never knew I had.”

The duo averaged 7.4 kph, and crossed the finish line in less than 24 hours. Stolpe’s race ended in 23:34:34, six seconds ahead of Laws.

The two were accompanied by an aid truck throughout their journey.

Stolpe completed the race in honour of the late Glenn Frick, who died of lung cancer in June. Frick was the only one to compete in every relay since its inception in 1983.

“Glenn really is responsible for a lot of the mountain running in Juneau,” Stolpe said. “I really wanted to do something special for Glenn, so I tried the whole thing because he had actually wanted to try it once.”

Frick, 73, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer last summer, shortly after completing a 29-km run from a glacier back to the Alaskan capital.

“He did it on a quarter of a lung,” Stolpe said. “He was just a special person to a lot of people.”

Stolpe and Laws will both have their names added to the Senator’s Cup this year, Sport Yukon executive director Tracey Bilsky confirmed today.

A relay team from Juneau also completed this year’s race in Frick’s honour, carrying a baton full of his ashes. Still Runnin With Glenn placed third in the Masters Mixed category.

The Klondike Road Relay is Sport Yukon’s annual fund-raiser.

However, despite record numbers of teams and participants, the organization is actually projecting a revenue loss this year. Bilksy said weather and changes to post-race programming both played a factor.

“Believe it or not, we may actually lose money on this one,” she said.

Rain hampered beverage sales at the beer garden located at the finish line in Rotary Peace Park, while alcohol sales from the dance at the High Country Inn – a new location – did not go to support Sport Yukon.

Specific numbers were not yet available, said Bilsky.

Comments (1)

Up 103 Down 86

Sondra Eckhoff on Sep 9, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Marcel, just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this article about Klas and Houston's run in memory of my father, Glenn Frick. Also wanted to clear up a couple of things in this article...my father was 75 years old when he passed away. He was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer the end of February this year and passed away shortly after on March 7th. There is no need to publish this comment...just wanted to clear up a couple inaccuracies. Again, this was an amazing article on an amazing run done in honour of my late father, Glenn Frick...an amazing man! Thank you! Sondra Frick Eckhoff

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.