Mark Gillett

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Toughest Footrace in The World

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I have been fortunate enough to see some great races around the world from the Sahara to Jungle and Arctic.  The MdS has the reputation of being the toughest foot race and even though the title was earned when there were few others, it still rates as one of the toughest. I read recently that it was listed as 3rd, but I can’t for the life of me think what came ahead of it. One of the American races for sure….If you need to know, google but I am too tired.

But one race never got a mention and I have seen this first hand. I now believe it to be the toughest endurance event if not foot race. Its the Yukon Quest. There is another race in the same region called the Iditarod but I have not seen this so can’t comment.

The Yukon Quest is 1000 miles of solo sledging with 10-12 dogs. So that is a maximum of 13 in the team and all need to be fed, looked after and driven by one human. They need to be checked by vets, poos picked up, dogs cared for and the whole team have to travel over some of the roughest trail you can imagine. The temperatures go down to the -30-40’s and there is only one compulsory rest stage so mushers sleep out with their dogs.

When I watched this event I was amazed at the bond between man and dog. I could not get close to the dogs. No one could except the musher or vet. Occasionally a co owner might be able to. The trust is beautiful to whiteness, the endurance is the ultimate and the race to me is surely the toughest there is. I saw a British musher do really well, Mark Sleightholme and there was also a Jamaican who did well. So its a race not just for the hardened canadians or north Americans. Its open. You need to qualify but it can be done…  It is certainly on my radar although for now I have a big enough challenge coming up and just as cold…… Maybe next time.

These are some of the shots from the Quest last year.

Written by markgillett

March 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm

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