For those of you who aren’t aware of the buzz and excitement going around town regarding the Klondike Road Relay, I feel it is my job to inform you.
A little background info: The Klondike Road Relay began in the fall of 1982 and is a 176.5 km foot race from Skagway, AK to Whitehorse, YT. The race takes place overnight and is run on paved highway through some pretty amazing scenery. This year, the race begins on September 6th and includes racers as young as 11 years old! The race is broken up into ten legs, ranging from 9 km to 25.6 km. Participants can choose to simply run one leg, or as many as they would like.
The race has the potential to be dangerous, as the highway has only two lanes, and the curves, hills and fogs can limit visibility for drivers. That being said, I strongly believe that anyone who would willingly choose to run through the night, uphill, deserves some evaluation. Let’s talk to Jody Eikelboom, a fresh face in the Yukon and first time racer:
What inspired you to participate in the race?
I was up in the Yukon last summer, and there was a lot of talk about it. My husband ran last year and loved it. He encouraged me to connected with a team. Friends were talking about teams in early June—so I got a sense of how big a deal this is.
Do you do any specific training for running in the middle of the night?
I myself haven’t—but I am also lined up to run the last leg, so I’ll be running at a time that is fairly normal for me on Saturday. As for whether other people train during the night…. Maybe? I haven’t talked to many who.
Do you train as a team or individually?
I haven’t trained too much with my team—I hadn’t met some of the team before we got together to make a race plan. A lot of the women on my team run together a lot. I’m pretty excited to be getting hooked up with nine other women who like running as much as I do, or more!
I run a lot with my husband. He’s great because he really, really, really likes running—so is always eager to get out the door.
I just started a new job—and there is a team from my office that runs on lunch breaks. I think it’s a pretty neat way to build community in an office and prioritize physical activity.
What key preparations do you do in the 24 hr before the race?
I’ll be doing a light run with a few speed sections in it on Friday. We try to make sure we eat really well the night before and morning of. Breakfast needs to be big enough to sustain me, but not too big to make me feel sick. It’s a balancing act. Also – I almost always have a banana about 30 min before I run.
Do you enjoy running?
Yep! I like to mix it up though and do other activities as well. Trail running is what I really love—this will be the longest road run I have done since a half-marathon in May.
Favorite healthy snacks?
Oranges, apples, smoothies, almond butter and a banana on a wrap, dates stuffed with almonds (or chocolate covered espresso beans for near the end of a race). Occasionally I am really ambitious and make homemade energy bars. I really like snacking…
Any advice for someone wanting to run the race?
Don’t be intimidated by the distance. The fact that it is a team race means that you are likely to have some cheerleaders along the way which means the energy, excitement, and adrenaline can give you a huge boost!
Thanks Jody! Best of luck to you and everyone in the race. Stay safe!