“Race to the Midnight Sun”
World’s Toughest and Alluring Marathon Paddling Race – 715 km / 444 miles from Whitehorse to Dawson City, YukonThe 22nd YRQ will be June 22-25, 2022. Registration now open!
Dedicated to the memory of Ingrid Wilcox – Paddle On!
Ingrid’s favorite race photo of her paddling in 2011 with a lake sunset, image by Harry Kern
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN – WE ARE NOT FULL!
Welcome to the official Yukon River Quest web site. The Yukon River Quest is an annual marathon paddling race. Paddlers come from around the world to test their endurance, racing day and night to the Klondike on one of North America’s great rivers. It is open to solo and tandem canoes and kayaks, solo stand-up paddle boards (SUP0, and bigger C4 and Voyageur canoes. Please fully explore our site for information on how to participate in this great event, whether as a racer, a member of a support crew, or as a volunteer. The Yukon River passes through Five First Nations on our race route: Kwanlin Dun, Ta’an Kwachan Council, Little Salmon/Carmacks, Selkirk, and Trondek Hwechin. Our race honours their culture and those who have lived off the river and nurtured it for centuries. To learn more about First Nations heritage on the river, see this River History from Yukon Schools. And for an in-depth account of Yukon First Peoples, read this ECHO (Ethnographic, Cultural, Historical Overview) handbook.
2022 YRQ REGISTRATION OPENED IN NOVEMBER: We had three registration openings to help us deal with an expanded field of 150 boats! Voyageurs and C4 boats began entering their teams on Nov. 1 at 14:00 Whitehorse time; tandem canoes and kayaks may on Nov. 8, and solo kayaks, canoes and SUPs on Nov. 15. Teams pay $50 at the start to get on a temporary pending wait list, and then be fully registered in the new year after all classes are pre-registered and we know more about how the race will operate. See details in RULES and PRESS RELEASE. We also are now part of the Ultra Paddle League. Check out their YRQ Video on Facebook promoting the start of race registration.
YRMPA AGM REPORT: BOARD ELECTIONS, RACE DIRECTOR HIRED – Our 2022 AGM was held via Zoom on November 24, 2021. The new executive is Deb Bartlette, president; Spencer Edelman, vp; Jason Beinsch, secretary; Lidwien Hanrath, treasure; Peter Coates, past president. Anne Jessup, Stan Fordyce and Stephen Mooney were re-elected to seats. Newly elected were Beinsch and Krista Mroz, replacing long-time board members Jeff Brady and Al Foster. Our newly hired Race Director Mia Lee was also introduced. See more about Yukon River Marathon Paddlers Association, our vision and mission statements, and a link to draft AGM minutes on the ABOUT US page.
AUGUST ‘RACE TO THE KLONDYKE’ has finished. This half race from Carmacks to Dawson started at noon Aug. 14 and all teams were in Dawson before dark on August 15. Just three teams started the race and you can follow them and see results on our Race Tracker. This was a different kind of race, unsupported for the most part, with a required evening stop of 8 hours for darkness. We decided to have a half race on the long weekend to give teams a chance to do some racing on the river this summer.
The Board met late on June 23 to talk about what comes next. For all teams that were registered to race as of Monday night, you can choose one of the following: 1) Entry into the 2022 race; or 2) A refund in an amount to be determined once we’ve resolved our costs for this year and the race’s financial situation. It may take us a week to get all the costs gathered and the refund amount determined. We’ll contact you via email with the refund amount. At that time you can let us know which option you would like to choose. The Board is also actively considering some type of shorter event later in the season, once COVID and water levels have settled down. We will be meeting later to discuss the options, once we have sorted out the logistics from the cancellation. To our volunteers: we are grateful for your continued support of our race. We couldn’t do it without you. Many thanks for your willingness to give us your time and talent for the 2021 race, and we look forward to seeing you in 2022.
Check out the RACE SCHEDULE (updated 6/17/21). Check out the annual YRQ Supplement in the June 18 Whitehorse Star and the pre-race PRESS RELEASE. The 2021 Racer & Support Crew Briefing is available to download on the Racer Briefing and Support Crew pages.
CURRENT COVID HEALTH & TRAVEL MANDATES: Check them often as they can change weekly.
BE PREPARED – THIS IS A TOUGH WILDERNESS PADDLING RACE! READ RULES & RACER GUIDE: Become familiar with the full YRQ RULES. and the new HALF QUEST RULES. Note: These COVID Rules are subject to change as we get closer to the race. Read the Preamble about what you will experience out there, and how to prepare for this tough wilderness race. Also check out the new RACER GUIDE and various items under the RULES & PREPARATION drop-down menu above, such as following best practices on the river and while camping, how much food and fluids are needed to sustain you in a long river race, and other essential tips to help you finish; racer and support crew briefings (they will be updated in spring); and our FAQs to learn more about navigation, insurance requirements, support at Carmacks, how to get back from Dawson, and more. Support crews need to become familiar with all of this information to help your team prepare and stay safe! Check out the SUPPORT link above.
PREVIOUS RACE REVIEW: RECORD FIELD IN 2019! – A record 117 teams started the 21st annual YRQ at noon on Wednesday, June 26, and 86 teams finished by 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 30. A total of 31 teams (26.5%) scratched during the race (an additional team withdrew just before the start). Most of the scratches were in Carmacks, as several teams were fatigued and/or unable to make the cutoff time there on the evening of June 27. Only 3 teams scratched past Carmacks. Thirteen countries were represented: Canada, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Netherlands, Norway (new), United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Papua New Guinea (new), France, Austria, and Ireland. Pull up 2019 Results and replay the race on our RACE TRACKER page, courtesy of Yukon 1000 Software, and see photos in our GALLERY and posted on our YRQ FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM pages. Read our AWARDS PRESS RELEASE. There was no race in 2020 due to COVID.
VOLUNTEERS – LIFEBLOOD OF THE YRQ: This race does not happen without our great volunteers, nearly 200 of them! Want to get involved for the 2021 race? Sign in on our new VOLUNTEER page and then view the different jobs available. It’s never too early or too late to volunteer, and it’s fun! If you do enough time with us, you will get a shirt, and see your name in a big THANK YOU AD in the Whitehorse Star later this summer. And PLEASE THANK OUR VOLUNTEERS WHEN YOU SEE THEM. THEY ARE THERE TO HELP!
THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS – SUPPORT THE YRQ: We have a lot of great sponsors who help us immensely in making this a great race. Please view our SPONSOR PAGE for a list of everyone big and small, including this past year’s BIB SPONSORS! We have several sponsorship levels to show your support for the race. Our Sponsorship packet and provisions are currently under revision and should be available some time this winter.
BECOME A MEMBER OF YRMPA: Join the Yukon River Marathon Paddlers Association for just $20 a year (adults) or $10 a year (juniors 18 & under) by clicking on the Membership photo button above. Email the race office for details or attend our next AGM and consider joining the YRMPA Board to help us plan the race. Meetings are monthly most of the year on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, and more frequent the two months before the race. See our current board & executive and read our Vision, Values and Mission statements on our ABOUT US page.
New staggered race registration by class commences Nov. 1, 8 and 15 for the return of the ‘Race to the Midnight Sun’ on June 22-25, 2022 Read full press release