By AIMEE O’CONNOR

This year’s Yukon River Trail Marathon in Whitehorse on August 3 had 77 degree heat to kick up the sweat factor for 15 participants from Skagway during one of the territory’s most grueling runs.

While it starts and finishes in Rotary Peace Park, the mostly backcountry route presents racers with many obstacles including large hills, tree roots, rocks and for one man this year, a grizzly sow and cub who retreated quickly into the woods.

Skagway’s only half marathon walker, Becky Jensen, completed the course with a time of three hours, 15 minutes and 4 seconds, placing fifth in the walking category. She also was the top female in the masters division (40-49).

The other 14 runners from Skagway participated in the relay category of the marathon.

Team Chub with Reid Lawson, Tyson Ames, Jed Greenstreet and Emily Rounds had the fastest time of the Skagway teams with 04:32:09, placing 9th in the mixed relay teams division. Less than four minutes behind them was team Trail Turtles with John and Cindy O’Daniel, Teresa Wilson, and Amanda Jensen, placing 11th in the category. It was John O’Daniel’s 13thyear participating in the race. Also in the mixed relay teams category was team Tight Butts and Sweaty Nuts, placing 14th in the division. Patricia Fecteau, Tiffanie Potter, Alanna Lawson and Aaron Rodig finished the race in 04:35:46.

Team “Alaskon”, a half Alaskan and half Yukoner team with Skagway runners Jennifer Sasselli and Rachel Ford finished in fourth place for the women’s relay team division.

Despite the heat and the difficult trail running, walker Becky Jensen said the run has “absolutely beautiful scenery” and it is a fun weekend event for everyone.