The Klondike Road Relay start in Skagway. (Sport Yukon)

The Klondike Road Relay start in Skagway. (Sport Yukon)

Nearly 2,000 participants will compete in the Klondike Road Relay this weekend. They will start in Skagway on Friday evening for an all-night race to Whitehorse.

Race coordinator Sandra Soares is in Skagway preparing for the biggest race yet204 teams. It’s their 37th year and she says it is off to a strong start.

The course is over 100 miles of challenging terrain, with over 3,000 feet of elevation gain. Racers loosely follow the path of miners from the 1898 Gold Rush over White Pass, through British Columbia, and into the Yukon. Teams split the mileage over about ten legs, but some ultra runners choose to complete the last forty miles solo.

Soares says there’s some construction that may slow racers slightly at the Captain William Moore bridge and again near Carcross. She cautions support vehicles to arrive at the Canadian border ahead of their racers. They anticipate hour-long wait times at the border, since runners are given priority.

She says the evening’s forecast is clear, with a chance of wonder:

“Hopefully, we’re going to have some northern lights this year, so racers can look up and enjoy the show,” she said.

The finish line will open in Whitehorse at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Awards and dancing will follow in the evening.