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Yukon Arctic Ultra 2015: ongoing measurements cont’d (3)

Now checkpoint Pelly Crossing has been reached, marking the 300 miles of the Yukon Arctic Ultra. Temperatures have risen considerably in the Yukon up to -15°C (5°F). While that is a relief temperature-wise, it might also lead to the dilemma of finding the appropriate clothing (number and composition of layers) and also might lead to a softer trail which can become very cumbersome to travel on. The previously very low temperatures have taken their toll also on the study-participants: so far four had to scratch leaving four to be still in the race to reach the finish in Dawson City.

Study-participant Hanno leaving Carmacks-checkpoint.

Study-participant Hanno leaving Carmacks-checkpoint.

Beautiful sky in Carmacks.

Beautiful sky in Carmacks.

Study-participant Jörn reaching Carmacks-checkpoint.

Study-participant Jörn reaching Carmacks-checkpoint.

Dr. Steinach at checkpoint Pelly Crossing - although a mild -19°C the car should be plugged in.

Dr. Steinach at checkpoint Pelly Crossing – although a mild -19°C the car should be plugged in.

Improvised lab in Pelly Crossing-checkpoint.

Improvised lab in Pelly Crossing-checkpoint.

Hanno warming up with some hot cocoa and soup after having reached Pelly Crossing on February 13th at 07:53 a.m.

Hanno warming up with some hot cocoa and soup after having reached Pelly Crossing on February 13th at 07:53 a.m.

Yukon Arctic Ultra 2015: ongoing measurements cont’d (2)

The conditions remain extreme: last nights (Feb 10-11) temperatures dropped to a mere -50°C (-58°F) on the trail (you can basically forget the weather reports which do not resemble trail conditions). 430mi-runner and study participant Hanno Heiss has reached the Carmacks-checkpoint as first of all race-categories and distances at 06:22 a.m. along with mountain-biker Enrico Ghidoni. They completed the 179 miles in 68 hours which is equal to the very high speed of 63 miles per day (101 km per day)! After some hot cocoa the study-measurements were commenced.

Dr. Steinach checking the trail-map.

Dr. Steinach checking the trail-map.

Hanno has reached Carmacks after completing 179 miles in 68 hours.

Hanno has reached Carmacks after completing 179 miles in 68 hours.

Solid-frozen foot-gear.

Solid-frozen foot-gear.

The current roster.

The current roster.

Hanno and Enrico celebrate their accomplishment of reaching Carmacks-checkpoint this fast.

Hanno and Enrico celebrate their accomplishment of reaching Carmacks-checkpoint this fast.

Sleep-measurements underway.

Sleep-measurements underway.

Yukon Arctic Ultra 2015: ongoing measurements cont’d (1)

Conditions of this years Yukon Arctic Ultra are very difficult. Temperatures at Carmacks-Checkpoint at night were at -38°C (-36°F) and reached a low of -45°C (-49°F) on the track. It is therefore not surprising that a number of participants had to scratch from the race. From a starting field of 71 athletes in the various disciplines (foot, xc-ski and mountain-bike), only 44 are still active (62%). However, only two of the eight 430mi study participants had to scratch, so 75% of them are still active. Keep your fingers crossed!

The village of Carmacks.

The village of Carmacks.

Community-Center in Carmacks serving as checkpoint.

Community-Center in Carmacks serving as checkpoint.

Ice-formations of the Yukon-river in Carmacks.

Ice-formations of the Yukon-river in Carmacks.

Wherever you stop - don't forget to plug in your car if you want the engine to start the next morning!

Wherever you stop – don’t forget to plug in your car if you want the engine to start the next morning!

Dr. Steinach in the Community-Center with the improvised lab-equipment.

Dr. Steinach in the Community-Center with the lab-equipment.

Although a scenic view, the suns apricity doesn't help very much with the low temperatures. In the front: the actual trail of the Yukon Arctic Ultra.

Although a scenic view, the suns apricity doesn’t help very much with the low temperatures. In the front: the actual trail of the Yukon Arctic Ultra along Yukon-river.

Yukon Arctic Ultra 2015: ongoing measurements

Thanks to the great help of Dr. Robert Coker, this time also serum-parameters from the 430mi runners can be evaluated. To accomplish this, a mobile centrifuge and a vapor shipper were provided by Dr. Coker. In the vapor shipper the processed serum-samples are stable at -196°C (-320°F) in liquid nitrogen.

Dr. Coker handles the vapor shipper.

Dr. Coker handles the vapor shipper.

Dr. Steinach in his improvised lab.

Dr. Steinach in his improvised lab.

The mobile centrifuge (next to the bed).

The mobile centrifuge (next to the bed).

Dr. Robert Coker, his wife Sheri Coker and Dr. Mathias Steinach at their base in Whitehorse.

Dr. Robert Coker, his wife Sheri Coker and Dr. Mathias Steinach at their base in Whitehorse.

Pulling into Carmacks.

Pulling into Carmacks.

Dr. Steinach in Carmacks preparing the next set of measurements at that checkpoint.

Dr. Steinach in Carmacks preparing the next set of measurements at that checkpoint.

Start of the Yukon Arctic Ultra 2015

The Yukon Arctic Ultra has started in Whitehorse – Yukon on February 08th at 10:30 a.m. pacific time!
Again, Dr. Mathias Steinach investigates physiological changes in participants of the Yukon Arctic Ultra 430 mi runner-category. The conditions this time are a bit different from last time in 2013: temperatures at the start were already at -30°C which makes this the second-coldest Yukon Arctic in its history! All baseline-measurements in Whitehorse went fine. The next stop will be in Carmacks-Checkpoint. The study is joined by Dr. Robert Coker from the University of Alaska as he provides equipment to also allow blood-analysis.

Dr. Mathias Steinach in Whitehorse, February 7th, 7:30 a.m. and at -35 °C (a bit nippy)

Dr. Mathias Steinach in Whitehorse, February 7th, 7:30 a.m. and at -35 °C (a bit nippy).

Dr. Steinach and one of his study participants, February 8th

Dr. Steinach and one of his study participants.

Group-photo of the "Yukon Arctic Ultra 2015" just before the start on February 8th, 10:30 a.m.

Group-photo of the “Yukon Arctic Ultra 2015” right before the start at 10:30 a.m.

You can follow the race online under: http://trackleaders.com/yukonultra15 (simply choose the 430 foot category to display only the runners of that category).