The Yukon Arctic Ultra (MYAU) is renowned as one of the world's coldest and toughest ultramarathons. It covers 300 miles of snow, ice, and temperatures as low as -40°C. Following the Yukon Quest trail, this event offers participants the choice of racing 300 miles, 100 miles, or a marathon distance, either by fat bike, cross-country ski, or by foot.

Starting in Shipyard’s Park in Whitehorse next to the Yukon River, the race passes through various checkpoints. They include Muktuk, Dog Grave Lake, Braeburn Lodge, Mandanna Lake, Carmacks, McCabe Creek, and Pelly Farm before returning to Pelly Crossing for the finish. The race trail is marked, but challenges such as fresh snow or high winds can obscure the route, making navigation difficult.

Participants must contend with brutally long hours of darkness, challenging their judgment and mental resilience. They face the constant struggle to eat enough for fuel, limited sleep, and isolation in the vast, empty wilderness. The race is not just a physical challenge but also a test of survival skills. The extreme weather posing risks of frostbite and hypothermia if not managed carefully.

Unlike other long-distance races, the MYAU lacks support crews at checkpoints to assist with aches and pains. Participants receive food and encouragement before being urged to continue their journey. This makes it a true test of individual endurance and determination.

Jovica's Journey

Compex athlete and ambassador Jovica Spajić from Serbia outpacing just a few competitors who haven’t withdrawn.

Spajic led the ultra running - foot race from the very start. He reached Pelly Crossing the evening of Feb. 7. After a short rest he began the race’s penultimate leg by starting an overnight march to Pelly Farm where he arrived at around 7 a.m. the next morning. The race tracker shows him back in motion a few hours later, beginning to retrace his steps to the Pelly Crossing finish line, which he crossed the evening of Feb. 8. There were many challenges in this year’s race, but Spajic overcame them all.

The next 300 mile athletes to finish were Daniel Benhammou and John Nakel. Both US and both MYAU veterans.

According to a Facebook post by MYAU administrator Callum Joliffe: “At the front of the foot discipline since the start of the race, never stopping for long, and always with a look of determination on his face, Jovica set out to achieve this race for his loved ones and for his country. We think he did them all proud, and with incredible speed!”