Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Marcel Vander Wier

HURTIN’ UNIT – Ben Yu Schott runs through a tunnel during Sunday’s cross-country championship in Whitehorse. It was his first event since completing the Golden Ultra.

Yu Schott back on home trail after gruelling ultra

For many, an eight-kilometre run marks a significant accomplishment.

By Marcel Vander Wier on September 29, 2015

For many, an eight-kilometre run marks a significant accomplishment.

But for Whitehorse resident Ben Yu Schott, it simply felt like a warm-up run Sunday.

The 37-year-old was one of 30 runners competing in the 2015 Yukon Cross Country Championships.

For Yu Schott, Sunday’s event was a marked difference from the weekend prior, where he competed in the Golden Ultra in Golden, B.C.

Described as “three days of pure mountain bliss” on its website, Yu Schott recounted a different tale.

In total, he logged about 85 kms and more than 4,000 metres of elevation gain over three days last weekend.

“I’ve never tackled something like that before,” said the former Athletics Yukon president. “By the third day, my legs were a little bit tired. But I was still moving, so that was good.”

The three individual events were dubbed: The Blood, The Sweat and The Tears.

In order, the runs included a “vertical kilometre” (five-km trek rising 1,000 metres); a 60-km ultra run with 2,500 m of elevation gain; then a final 21-km trail run.

For the record, Yu Schott finished 12th in the Golden Ultra’s open category, completing his epic journey in 15:57:57.2.

Yu Schott said that the aid stations featured a smorgasbord of food, including bars, gels, coffee and soda. Eating food on the go is necessary, he noted, as thousands of calories are lost throughout the long distance race.

One of his more vivid memories includes scarfing down some red licorice at the top of Kicking Horse Mountain during Saturday’s event.

The ultra was Yu Schott’s third all-time. He took home a coveted beer mug as a memento.

“It’s a personal challenge and you get into a different headspace,” he said. “I’m not focussed on going super-fast. I just want to complete it.”

California runner Jorge Maravilla won the event with a time of 8:27:58.7.

The run included a “grim sweeper,” who trailed runners, disqualifying them if their pace was too slow. Yu Schott was nearly claimed Saturday.

He said the event kept him fit, as he spent six months training before heading south.

On Sunday, Yu Schott finished fourth in the masters men’s category at the Yukon championships, behind Scott Williams, Jerome McIntyre and Tom Ullyett.

Yu Schott finished his eight-km route in 39:46.

Comments (1)

Up 4 Down 0

Rob from Ottawa on Sep 29, 2015 at 4:39 pm

Brutal runs! Yukon makes you folks tougher than us southerners, it seems. Now I'm afraid to visit. How about someone up there organize a sanctioned marathon we south of 60 runners can aspire to? You're all jogging that distance for your morning Tim's anyway, right? So it seems...

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