KNUCKLE SPIRIT – Jacob Tice, captain of Skagway’s fastest Klondike Road Relay team, Horse-Cow: Milk It & Ride It, shortened up their name on their knuckles for the 29th annual relay. Katie Emmets
A tale of detours, lost runners, bare feet, and northern lights
By KATIE EMMETS
Eight Skagway teams participated in the 29th Klondike Trail of ’98 International Road Relay, taking almost a day to get to Whitehorse on foot.
Of those local teams, Horse-Cow: Milk It and Ride It was the first from Skagway to finish, placing 26th overall.
“We all set new personal records,” said Horse Cow team captain Jacob Tice, “Even Brian Dodd, who had to run home on his way out of town.”
Dodd, who started the race at Broadway and Second, realized he left his passport at his house at State Street and 19th when he was in front of You Say Tomato.
“I ran home, got it and ran back to where I left off,” Dodd said. “I didn’t even cheat.”
This is Dodd’s third time running the relay, and his third time running leg one.
This year, Dodd ran the 8.8 miles in 1 hour and 28 minutes, which set the pace for the rest of Horse Cow.
James Miska finished out the race by running leg ten — in sandals — giving the team a 16:06:33 finishing time.
Team Snafu came in next at 17:12:26 for 29th place and Skagway Brewing Company finished nine minutes after with an end time of 17:23:54 for 32nd place.
Lindsey Ellingson ran the “princess leg,” which starts near the Alaska border sign and ends near Canadian Customs, for the Brew Co. Team.
“The princess leg is supposed to be the easiest leg of the race,” she said. “But it’s 7.8 miles in the dark (on the summit). You start off going downhill though, so you feel like a rock star.”
This is Ellingson’s second Klondike Road Relay and the second time running leg three.
“Last year, it rained the whole time and all I could hear was water all around me,” she said. “It was so dark that I couldn’t see anything, and I ran with my arms out.”
By the end of her leg, however, Ellingson said she realized that she really liked running, and last winter she trained for a triathlon that she completed in May.
“But this year was beautiful,” she said. “There was an almost-full moon and the stars were out. I kept looking behind me to see the view.”
Skagway Brewing Company’s Chelsea Gentry throws up peace signs while running in the Yukon - Brook Sturgis
Nate Weiler crosses the finish line for the Brew Co. team putting them in 32nd place. Alaska Excursion’s Craig Murguia crosses the finish into a crowd of cheering fans - KE
But it wasn’t all clear skies for the Brew Co. team.
“There was a lot of puking,” she said. “But we didn’t know about it till it was over.”
The Brew Co. also accidentally lost a teammate.
While Ellingson was running, Chelsea Gentry got out of the van to go to the bathroom and without noticing she wasn’t back, the team jetted off to Canada Customs to ensure they dropped the next runner off at the checkpoint in time.
“It wasn’t until they hit customs that they realized she wasn’t in the van,” Ellingson said. “They thought she was lying under a sleeping bag.”
While they were looking for Gentry, Ellingson said she saw her teammates speeding by her, and she thought they were looking for her to cheer her on.
“When they drove by me, I started waving my arms because I thought they missed me, but they were looking for Chelsea,” she said. “She met up with them at customs. She hitched a ride with some random guy who was there cheering on his girlfriend,” Ellingson said.
After Gentry was found and after Ellingson finished the third leg, which took her about an hour and 20 minutes, the northern lights came out.
“It was the first time I saw the northern lights,” Ellingson said, adding that it was a fun first to share with the people on her team.
“We had a lot of bonding experiences,” she said.
The Skagway Brewing Company team was made up of both employees and non-employees.
“Some of us didn’t know each other, but we all came together and motivated each other to run,” she said, adding that everyone contributed in taking care of one another “The Skagway School track coach [Kent Fielding] was on our team and he bought a 5-hour Energy case for us. It was a lot of fun.”
Alaska Excursions came in 83rd place at 17:57:59 with Wicked Westmark Asphalt Warriors following shortly after in 89th at 18:13:01. WP&YR finished in 100th place at 18:34:08.
There were also two women’s walking teams in the Relay that started amongst 17 others at 4 a.m. out of Carcross. Art and Sole placed third in the walking division with a time of 9:26:50, and Gotta Have Sole finished in seventh with a time of 18:13:01 as Cara Cosgrove crossed the finish line in socks.
A previously registered ninth Skagway team from Duff’s did not start the race.
Individual times and other results can be found at www.klondikeroadrelay.com .
The Skagway women’s walking teams, Art and Sole and Gotta Have Sole, pose for a picture after both teams crossed the finish line.
Top: Mary Tidwell, Lisa Hollander, Becky Jensen, Dottie DeMark, Jessica Wilbarger Bottom: Dawn Adams, Kathy Wassman and Cara Cosgrove. Art and Sole finished third in the walking division and Gotta Have Sole finished sevent. Klondike Road Relay Photo
Below, the first group starts in Skagway, and Cherith Whiteman and Kent Fielding run through the golden leaves of the Yukon. KE