Some of the territory’s top runners are gunning for a record in this weekend’s Klondike Road Relay.
Seasoned relay runner David Eikelboom explained in an interview Thursday a team of men has been pulled together to take a shot at the record set by a Yukon team that sits around 11 hours and three minutes.
The overall fastest time of 10 hours and 16 minutes was established by a men’s team from Auke Bay, Alaska in 1990.
But the 11:03 is the record for a Yukon team, and Eikelboom said they’re out to break it.
Eikelboom was captain on the winning mixed team last year but was recruited along with other noteable runners in the territory specifically to take shot at the record.
If they’re successful, there’s a good chance – a really good chance – they’ll finish first overall tomorrow, he said.
Eikelboom said if the perennial favourites from Anchorage, Take No Prisoners, comes with their A team it will be tough to win overall but he’s heard they’re not coming with their absolute A line up, so they might have a shot.
“If they come with anything less than their A team, then I think it is going to be a competitive match up,” he said.
Eikelboom said it’s fun to have a competitive match, with the lead going back and forth between teams, and it’s good for the relay race.
The relay begins tonight in Skagway, with the open teams starting at midnight, Yukon time.
Take No Prisoners finished first last year in a time of 11:15:35.
There are over 1,700 runners and walkers registered on 192 teams for the 36th annual relay.
Of the 192, 167 are official 10-person running teams and 25 are walking teams who will do the relay from Carcross to Whitehorse, beginning at 6 a.m.
Joanne Van Bibber-Widrig said their team, Quantum Running Machines, isn’t out to break any records in the masters womens class, but they are looking to repeat as champions in their category for the sixth consecutive year.
The Machines won last year with a time of 15:29:01. All but one of the runners is returning.
Van Bibber-Widrig said a couple of runners are over 60, a couple are close and most are over 50, though they do have a couple in their 40s, including what she described as a 43-year-old “baby” runner.
“The two geriatrics are running the last two legs so hopefully we can get some extra sleep and then go to the dance,” she said.