A GREAT experience in Canada's north! (about: 2006)|
Alasdair Veitch from Norman Wells, Northwest Territories (8/24/06)
11-50 previous marathons
| 2 Overlander Sports Marathons
The Yellowknife Marathon may not be a huge marathon, but it sure is a great race that is very well organized for an event of this size. Yellowknife is a lovely small city of about 20,000 on the shores of the huge Great Slave Lake well north of the 60th parallel. Its relatively short history is in gold mining and it is the capital city of the Northwest Territories; however, these days it's diamonds, government, and tourism that are the mainstays of the economy of YK. I'd run the YK Marathon once previously in 1995, so the 2006 race was my first time in 11 years. Lots of changes during that time, and all for the better!!
The race organizers are from the YK Multisport Club and the event is co-hosted my Overlander Sports - a great outdoors store located in the city's small "downtown" section. The entry fee was only $55, which included a nice long-sleeve shirt and a meal at the local Boston Pizza the night before the race. Good chance to meet some other runners, load up on pasta, and get mentally ready. The course consisted of 2 loops of a figure 8 that took the runner through the older parts of Yellowknife along Great Slave Lake and then around some of the newer business/shopping sections. It also heavily featured a great biking/running/walking/hiking trail around Frame Lake and visits to the Legislative Assembly of the Government of the NWT and through an arch that consists of all the flags of Canada's provinces and territories, plus each community of the NWT. Aid stations feature enthusiastic volunteers, but don't expect a lot of spectators along the way. The course is not exactly flat - no huge hills however.
The 2006 edition featured about 32 runners in full marathon, 45 in half marathon, 6 teams of 4 doing the marathon by relay, and then quite a few folk doing a 10KM walk/run - so over 100 people in all. The organizers are to be commended for putting together a fun and efficient race. The YK Marathon is well worth the trip for anybody who has ever had a curiosity about Canada's north and would like to run a good race during a visit. There's LOTS to see and do in and around Yellowknife and Great Slave Lake - even those of us from smaller and more northerly communities in NWT like to visit YK. :-) I'll certainly be back to run the YK Marathon before another 11 years pass by. This was my 24th marathon - previous in Canada from Nfld to BC, USA, and Ireland.