As the final leg of the Klondike Trail of ’98 Road Relay approached, the Running Home to Yukon Brewing team was back almost eight minutes from rival Yukon team Aggressive Nonchalence.
The stage 10 anchor for Yukon Brewing was fast local runner Lindsay Carson.
His first race on Stage 10, Carson was just trying to match his 10 Miler pace from a few weeks ago, in the order of six minutes per mile.
Although the flood the night before had subsided and a bright blue sky had opened up, the headwind from the Carcross Cutoff along the Alaska Highway to the town was painful.
“I underestimated the hills and the headwind,” she said by phone Sunday after doing a recovery trail.
As she made her way to Miles Canyon, her team ran alongside her for a few yards, dropping liquids and splits on how close she was to bridge the gap between her team and aggressive nonchalance.
Yukon Brewing got off to a quick start with Willie Bell, Sam Lindsey, Anett Kralisch and Luke Carlos edging out the rival team. But the fast stages 5-9 of David Greer, Matthias Purdon, Simon Lapointe, Caelan Pangman McLean and Brendan Morphet overnight and Saturday morning kept Aggressive Nonchalence in the lead heading into the final 19.3km stage.
As she crossed the freeway and onto the gravel Miles Canyon Road, Carson got her second breath.
“I was chasing people,” she said. “I didn’t really know what category they fell into. There were just kids and older people, but I still liked having those bodies there so I had a target to pursue.”
Familiar with arriving at Rotary Peace Park, she lobbied until the end, feeling strong.
“Once you get to the Klondike, you know you’re almost there,” she said. “It’s very nostalgic for me.”
Carson clocked the third fastest leg with 10 times, bringing his team home to finish 16 minutes ahead of Aggressive Nonchalence.
Yukon Brewing finished second overall behind Alaskan mixed team Team Elite – TNP, whose stage 1 rider Anna Dalton broke the women’s record, which lasted 25 years by 34 seconds. They finished in 11 hours, nine minutes and 23 seconds.
Aggressive Nonchalence won the Open in 12:31:09, third overall.
Mixed teams must have a minimum of three men and three women, while open teams have no restrictions.
Records kept falling in the 7-10 legging category, as the Claim Cafe Caffeinators (Glenys Baltimore, Jany Haydock, Bonnie Love and John Storms) broke the 2007 record set by the Chocolate Claim Walkers (including Love was a member) of about five minutes.
In the youth category, coming from Carcross, the Baby Blue team broke the record set by Kluane Drilling Road Runners last year by over 20 minutes. The team that set the record consisted of Jude Slater, Romeo Champagne, Sash Masson, Jamie Phillips-Freedman, Derek Deuling, Ben Puskas, Victor Thibeault and Nichollis Schmidt.
The Kluane Drilling Road Runners team finished second this year, and many of their returning runners also broke their record from last year in 5:36:53.
And the predominantly Dawson City youth team, Where’s My Ecologically Sustainable Buddhist Butterfly ?, also broke last year’s record of 5:45:53.
Their 10a and 10b stage riders, Joe Parker (Whitehorse) and Jack Amos (Dawson City) both broke stage records. Parker beat Simon Cash’s 2013 time of 43:15 by two seconds, while Amos broke Sammy Mather’s 2014 record of 2:42.
Baby Blue’s Derek Deuling also broke a 2013 Sammy Mather record in stage 9a, posting a new time of 35:48.
Darby McIntyre of the SWATT team broke a new record of 39:49 on stage 8b.
The young girls also posted new records.
Remie Cherepak of Jasmine’s team on stage 9a now holds the stage record of 42:08 and Hannah Jirousek of Case of the Runs posted a 39:13 en route to claiming the stage’s youth record 10b.
The women’s team category was won by Toronto’s Angels 2 team. The Masters Open was won by Shier Law Runners of Whitehorse, the Masters Women was won by Quantum Running Machines of Whitehorse and the Mixed Masters was won by Still Juneau’s runnin with Glenn.
The Corporate was won by the Vancouver Horny Goats.
Erica Van Vlack was the only participant in the Ultra race (Carcross start).
Steps 7a to 10b of the Walkers were won by the Wobbly Walkers.