Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi

Yukon River Trail Half Marathon


I agreed to do the above mentioned race with a friend (we put it on the race plan about 10 months ago).  It’s held on the first Sunday in August in Whitehorse, Yukon Territories.  It’s only a 950km drive from where I live.

The week before the race I said screw driving that far and decided to fly.  Not totally smart as I can only afford to fly using air miles on short notice and there weren’t many flight options available last-minute.  I ended up driving 390 km to the next closest airport, flew 1.5 hours to Vancouver and then flew 2.5 hours back north to Whitehorse.  I was at least on the same flight as my partner in crime.

Leaving on a jet plane

Leaving on a jet plane

We got in very late Friday night.   Saturday we did a little run along the trail in town (where I met Creepy Barbie) and spent the rest of the day checking out Whitehorse.  Sunday was race day.

creepy barbie was stuck in the fence along the trail

Creepy Barbie was stuck in the fence along the trail

Whitehorse, Yukon

Downtown Whitehorse












The event hosts a full marathon, relay marathon and half marathon – all on trails, single track goat trails to be precise.

Most of the folks running this one are locals and the entire event is capped at 325.  There were 100 people in the half marathon.

This is me trying to look cool pre-race.  I haven't quite figured out how to look cool.

This is me trying to look cool pre-race, or like Captain Morgan

The half didn’t start until 10AM.  It’s a gun start and not really chip timed.  You get this little plastic thing you have to dip into a  reader when you cross the finish line.  Not good as my hands don’t work well after I run so I was pretty sure I’d drop it (spoiler alert, I didn’t).

I placed myself up front with the fast folks as why the heck not.  There were some really fast folks there.  One girl up front was maybe 5 feet tall and 85 lbs of fastness.  I saw her doing a warm-up, holy fast Batman.  She ran the half in 1:35 so that tells you how challenging the course was.  She looked like she could run a 1:15 on a road.

The first bit was on paved trail, then some road and then you hit the single track.  People were incredibly polite about passing.  The second half of the race was really hard.  Some seriously steep sections (up and down and I suck at downhill).

I didn’t take photos as taking your eyes off the goat trail along the cliffs and through the woods would have resulted in a face plant or fall off the side of a mountain into a cold lake below.  I also would’ve likely taken a wrong turn and would still be running out there as you had to pay attention to the trail markers (flagging tape).

Cool side note:  If any of you Canadians watched the Amazing Race Canada Tuesday, the bridge the contestants run across at the end of the show is the bridge I ran across in my race.

I finished in a decent time (I think) as I was the fifth chic in and first in my age group (there were 20 in my age group).  It took me 1:58:44.

The finishing medals are really cool.

The medals are made from pottery.  Very cool.

The medals are made from pottery.

Post race, I pigged out at McDonald’s (I just looked at the food as carbs and protein, that’s how I justified it, plus it was close to the hotel).  A little while later we made our way back into town – walking slowly – to find a place to eat dinner.  We ended up at a pub called the Dirty Northern Bastard.  It sounded too good to pass up.

We left the next morning on a 5:55AM flight back to Vancouver, then I flew back to where I started and drove 4 hours back home.  And I saw a grizzly bear on the drive – cool!

I am totally in love with Whitehorse, it’s so beautiful!  The people are so nice too.  It’s kind of like Hawaii, but in the north and obviously colder and no palm trees.  I think it’s more the feel of the place that made me think of Hawaii, laid back and everyone totally wants to be there.  I want to be there.

Ever been to Whitehorse?  Do Barbie’s freak you out?  What’s the coolest medal you’ve received at a race?  What’s the weirdest name of a pub you’ve been to?  Have you seen a grizzly bear in the wild?


Yukon River Trail Half Marathon


Author: Angie

I live in northern British Columbia, Canada. I found my dog Kobi in 2011 when she was only 5 weeks old and we've been having running adventures ever since.

15 thoughts on “Yukon River Trail Half Marathon

  1. Never been to that part of Canada.
    Trails runs are really hard, 1h58 isn’t bad at all. That medal looks really cool indeed, I think the coolest medal I’ve received was the one in a race in Rio, pop art motives, sorta comic/cartoonish looking.

    • The northern part of this country is really quite beautiful – very big! I really like trail runs and they are hard. I kind of like the fact that you have to really pay attention to what you’re doing and where you’re going. Your medal sounds cool. It’s neat how races come up with such cool ideas.

  2. Congrats on your fantastic finish! That’s super speedy, especially for a trail half. Sounds like a fun weekend! I totally understand the not taking pics during trail races. I took some on one last year but they were just blurs because of all the reasons you stated. Probably going to shave a couple minutes off my time this year by not even bothering 🙂

    • Thanks! I tried taking photos during another race (without stopping) and it’s just plain dangerous and most don’t turn out anyway. May as well go for the time over the photos.

  3. Whoa creepy barbie! That sounds like an awesome race. Good job! And the medals are awesome. Small races are sometimes the best. It’s more of a nice congenial feeling.

    • Creepy Barbie freaked me out a few times. The race was so beautiful. I agree that small races are the best. Way more personal. I knew no one in that town, but had the best conversations with so many people during the run and after. You just don’t get that opportunity in bigger races for the most part.

  4. I love that pottery medal! How could anyone pass up the Dirty Northern Bastard pub, I bet it was an interesting place. Great race report. Your time is something to be proud of!

    • I actually didn’t believe the name of the pub at first. It was pretty neat inside and it seemed quite popular! Glad you liked the race report. Zeke would love it up there. Wish I could have brought Kobi with me.

  5. Woah! It was a journey to get to the race.

    Great job at the HM.

  6. This little east coast girl hasn’t made it too far West 😦 It sounds like you had a fun adventure! Congrats on your finish and I love the medal! Creepy barbie freaks me out a little !

    • And I’ve never made it to the east coast of Canada. I will for sure one day. The medal is so cool. I was worried it would break on the trek back, but it didn’t. No Barbie sightings out this way so I’m good!

  7. So fast for a trail half! Congrats! 10am is so late for a race to start. And so cool you saw a bear!

    • Thanks!! It was so beautiful. I thought I’d like the late start as it would give me more time to get organized, but I ended up rushing around as I just put things off longer. That is only the second grizzly I’ve seen (not sure how I feel about seeing those ones).

  8. Pingback: Running with Dinosaurs | Outdoor Running Adventures

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