“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 STILL OPEN – CLOSES JUNE 1!
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 SPRING UPDATE (05-16-22): The river is opening up, and we have unveiled our RACE SCHEDULE as we get closer to the big event in June. Check out the latest newsletter in NEWS. Back in mid-December we reached the 150 team limit for the 2022 YRQ, however some teams have dropped off the wait list and we are still taking registrations until June 1. If you aren’t sure you can do the full YRQ, consider signing up for the Half Quest!
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 paid $50 at the start to get on a temporary pending wait list, and then be fully registered in March after all classes are pre-registered and we know more about how the race will operate. See details in 2022 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.
BE PREPARED – THIS IS A TOUGH WILDERNESS PADDLING RACE! READ RULES & RACER GUIDE: Become familiar with the full YRQ RULES (updated 04/22) 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 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; and our FAQs to learn more about navigation, insurance requirements, how to support your team 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 CREWS link above. There are two Carmacks checkpoints in 2022: Site A: Coal Mine Campground for voyageurs, C4s, SUPs, and Half Quest teams; and Site B: Bridge campground for all solo and tandem canoes and kayaks. Separate briefing notes for each site can be found on the Racer Briefings page.
CURRENT COVID HEALTH & TRAVEL MANDATES: Check often!
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. Regular board meetings are usually held on the third Wednesday of the month. See schedule in Calendar.
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, and a limited race in 2021 was cancelled at the last minute due to flooding. Many of those teams deferred to 2022.
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.