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Chilkoot Trail Day Run
By:  Lee Hawkings   (2010/08/02)

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After completing a day run of the Chilkoot for the first time I told myself I would never do it again. Limping 7km along the railroad tracks after running the better part of 50km really solidified in my mind that this was one of the hardest things I had ever done, and I didn't want to do it again any time soon. Funny how fast you forget these things because here we are only 2 years later and I have just finished my second day run of the Chilkoot Trail.

The Chilkoot trail is a 53km long route used by the pioneers and goldrushers during the Klondike Gold Rush. The trail travels from Dyea, Alaska to the shores of Bennett Lake in the Yukon. During the gold rush it took months to travel the trail with the mandatory 1 ton of gear required by the RCMP to cross the border into Canada. These days the trail is a National Historical Site and is used by hundreds of backpackers every year. Most people take 3-6 days to complete the trail, however we find if you pack light, get an early start and have a high tolerance for pain you can do it in a day. Two years ago we took nearly 12 hours to finish, this year we wanted to do it faster.

Our group consisted of 5 guys and 2 girls including 3 XC Ottawa members: Colin, Logan and Lee and one new Carleton Ski Team member Nansen. By 6:15am we were all ready to go at the trail head and we headed off.

At the end of the day we were so completely exhausted it was a struggle just driving home without falling asleep. I only did three things that evening, sit, eat and watch T.V. Everything below my waist hurt: my hips, my quads, my knees, my calfs, my ankles, and especially my feet. Even my shoulders hurt from the pack bouncing around all day.

I'd like to say I'm going to listen to my body's pleas to never do that ever again but I know that 2 years from now I will have forgotten the pain and suffering and all that will remain is the good memories of a tough day. The Chilkoot has not heard the last of me.


 
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