The Mayo Midnight Marathon Morning After

Trip Start Jun 01, 2009
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Trip End Jun 31, 2009


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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Included in the cost of the Mayo Midnight Marathon is a breakfast at 10 am on the morning after. It was a wonderful cafeteria style serving of ham, potatoes, scrambled eggs, wonderful homemade bread, champagne, fruit and fruit pies accompanied by a well organized awards ceremony. Jim managed to receive the award for the oldest competitor at 71 (damn, I missed by one year). I managed to come in third place in the Masters division, not bad considering that Masters includes runners at 40 and up. We sat beside a shy minister from the USA who had logged 135 marathons!

On the edge of town there was a graveyard where all the grave markers were made of wood rather than the usual tombstones. None died at an age older than us so we quickly moved on.

We parted company with our friends Jim and Nita who headed up the Dempster highway and we went back to Dawson to join the Aboriginal Days festivities. They had a band for the occasion and I noticed that it was the same band that had featured earlier in the Pink Pit Pub but with a difference. This time, the First Nations Fiddler was featured and the singing piano player was on a small keyboard playing the accompaniment.

The opening ceremonies were deeply respectful with an elder delivering a prayer. Many of the Gwetchin young girls wore their regalia and sang songs recovered from relatives in Alaska. Chilli and bannock were served.

We took a final stroll through the town, said a fond farewell to the Pink Pit Pub and after a good night of sleep (in full light) headed east again to the Dempster Highway.

The Dempster highway is Canada's northernmost road, ending in Inuvik (accent slightly on the second syllable). It is a 736 kilometre long dirt road well known for the shale that was used in its making; very hard on the tires. Earlier, people recommended that you carry two spare tires; we only had room for one. We had heard that the shale was now covered with a more friendly substance. Since the Dempster travels through non glaciated areas there are no gravel pits with rounded stones.

Rosamund heard on the radio that the sunset was at 12:51 and the sunrise at 3:46. We didn't see either.

We stopped for the night in the Tombstone Park campground in an open area, hoping that the breeze would foil the mosquito's attempts to attack us. As we enjoyed the 360 view of mountains around us, a mosquito miscalculated and landed in the wine in my glass. I watched her struggle and decided to save her (and my wine). She managed to grab on to my finger and hang on as I extricated her and brought her up into the breeze, but her wings were much too wet for her to fly. Since a mosquito has six legs, you may wonder which ones she uses to wipe her wings. This one used her front legs, then her middle legs, then her rear legs, affording more angles of attack. After approximately two minutes, she flew happily off.
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