Nottingham City Harriers was the name adopted by a group of runners at the end of 2003 who, upon resignation from a local athletics club, set up their own independent training sessions.

The numbers have dwindled over the years and traveling to training venues at rush hour has got ever more difficult with worsening traffic conditions. So it has been decided to end the informal group from 17th January 2018, the remaining individuals continuing in a private capacity.

Many thanks to the runners who have supported these sessions over the years but we hope to still see some of you from time to time in the future.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Andy Heading wins a shortened 460 mile race

With temperatures expected to go down to - 61 tomorrow and "warmer" temperatures only arriving by Sunday it was decided to stop the race. We also took into consideration the progress Tom, Pearse, Klaus and Joachim have made in the last 24 hours. They managed to do roughly 17 miles in that period of time.

Before making the decision I talked to trail expert and Canadian Ranger John Mitchell and local pilot Dan Reynolds. For John Mitchell the glaciers on the trail were the main problem for evacuations north of Scroggie. That and the considerable elevation. Dan told me that in these kind of temperatures small planes only take off in life or death situations. We knew this before but I wanted it confirmed. So, considering all input and circumstances I would say it was the right decision.

This makes Andy Heading from England the winner of a race course that now measured 337 miles. It is very likely that Andy would have made it to the finish line in Dawson City in one piece and in time. However, I am also sure that he understands and accepts why race officials had to hold him at the checkpoint. And he already went into this last leg knowing this might happen as I personally informed him about our safety procedures for prolonged and extremely cold temperatures.

The weather is causing problems for the race organisers and Andy needs to get on with this race. Health and Safety issues are slowing things up, we can only hope that these guys (tough outdoorsmen) are kicked out of the door and allowed to get on with what they do best.

Race Report
Whilst yesterday Mike from our checkpoint crew at Scroggie had agreed with Andy that he may leave the CP at 8:00 AM this morning things had changed after another very cold night. I do not have any details as we don’t have time for long conversations on our sat phones. However, it is confirmed that Andy stays another 24 hours at the checkpoint. I am assuming that the main issue for Mike is potential problems with the snow machines. They have to get up every 2 hours during the night to start the machines. Otherwise, they would freeze and not work anymore. Also, they are running out of wood as it takes a lot of wood to heat a cabin in these temperatures.

Pearse, Klaus, Tom and Joachim have not reached Scroggie Creek, yet. Mike is leaving within this hour to meet Dave further south on the trail. Then he will also run into these athletes. When Mike and Dave meet they will exchange news and Mike will also receive a new sat phone, more gasoline, anti-freeze and additional food. So, whenever Dave arrives back at Pelly Farm I will have news again on how things are going.

In any case we will move away 6 kilometres further north with our CP as there is another cabin with more space. That is where hopefully Mike, Pete and the athletes will then spend the night. The problem is that temperatures will be falling to a low of – 46 again tomorrow. We are now working on two or possibly three scenarios for the next few days.

Scenario 1 is to evacuate everybody out of the new checkpoint as that is still fairly accessible. This would be the case if Mike and Pete, the staff at Pelly Farm and myself get to the conclusion that it is safer to handle things that way.

Scenario 2 is to make camps in between the new CP and King Salomon Dome (approx. 75 miles north of the new CP). Mike and Pete could drive ahead of the athletes, set up a camp and that way be close to the athletes and making progress towards a place where we have easier access again for evacuation. However, this scenario is not evaluated, yet. It will be Mike’s and Pete’s decision if this is safe and doable.

There is also a scenario 3 where we let the athletes continue as a group. This Mike can discuss with them tonight and then decide.

Again, so far it seems that the athletes are fine (as of yesterday afternoon). It is more a decision of having the possibility to help in case an emergency does come up and not endangering the lives of athletes, staff and volunteers.

I will keep you posted.