top of page

Course Facilitators

Meet the team!

Course Facilitators: Testimonials

Course founder and organizer.
MYAU veteran.

Shelley Gellatly

December 15,1963-July 13, 2021


MYAU veteran. Yukoner.

Course organizer.

Photo credit: Joe Bishop

Jessie Gladish Howland


MYAU veteran. Yukoner.

Gillian Smith


Honorary Yukoner from the UK.
MYAU veteran.

Marianne Heading


Yukoner, MYAU volunteer.

Fabian Schmitz


Shelley's Bio

Shelley founded this course in 2019. Her passion for teaching others and helping them to be successful in their goals is the foundation of this course. Shelley passed away in July 2021 from cancer. Shelley is deeply missed by so many; her spirit and energy lives on in all of us who knew her. Shelley has inspired us to continue her workshop dreams, for which she is the heart and soul of. Her self-written bio:

My entire adult life has been spent in the North, with time in the Northwest Territories, Alaska and since 1997, the Yukon. 

I have been involved with the race as a participant or volunteer, since the start in 2003. That year I finished the 100 miler on foot, and have completed the distance 4 other years. 

In 2004 I finished the 300 miler on foot. 

I have tried to finish the 430 miler 3 times, twice leaving the trail due to medical issues and in 2019 due to frost bite on my thumbs. Luckily, I have been able to see the entire trail to Dawson, even if part of it was on the back of a skidoo! 

This past year, I attempted the 300 miler on skis. It was a fantastic trip, however I decided to stop after not being able to warm up my feet 14 hours after leaving Braeburn. Next year, I will be out there again! 

I have finished the Yukon River Quest 11 times. Outside of YAU and YRQ, I work as an exercise physiologist.

Course Facilitators: About Me

Jessie's Bio

My first adventure race was in a canoe, from Whitehorse to Dawson, in the Yukon River Quest in 2009 and 2010. 

I started winter ultra adventures in 2015, with the MYAU, and finished the 430 in 2015, 300 mile in 2016, 430 mile again in 2017, and then travelled to Alaska and finished the ITI 350 mile. All on foot. In 2019 I finished the 430 mile MYAU on x-country skis. In 2022 I switched over to a fat bike and did the 300 mile MYAU. In 2023 I finished the 430 mile on my bike, becoming the first woman (and second person) to finish that distance on all three modes. 

I have a love of the Yukon wilderness, and that is the main reason I keep coming back to the MYAU. Also, the people involved have become my good friends and I love returning each year to see them all.

I grew up camping and hiking, and learned how to handle myself in the remote wilderness of the Yukon. The environment deserves respect and awareness, especially in the middle of winter. I do these races from an expedition mindset, not necessarily a race mindset, although I do enjoy the competition and a time challenge.

I can’t wait for 2024 to meet all the others new to the race and to see some familiar faces returning. I will be switching it up this year by volunteering instead of racing - can't wait to cheer folks on from the checkpoints!

Photo by Mark Kelly
Course Facilitators: About Me

Gillian's Bio

I'm born and raised in the Yukon. I'm from a small community north of Whitehorse (Mayo). 

I completed the 100 mile a few years ago with a friend and that race got me hooked. The following year I signed up for the 430 mile but was unable to finish. In 2018, I volunteered as a medic at the Ken Lake checkpoint. 

In 2019 I finished the 430 mile, on foot. 

I work for Yukon Emergency Medical Services as a Critical Care Flight Paramedic (I would be the person who would come get you if you needed an emergent lift off the trail... if I was working). I have also volunteered for SOMET (Special Operation Medical Extrication Team).

Photo is from 2019 MYAU, credit to Mark Kelly.

Course Facilitators: About Me

Fabian's Bio

I'm originally from Germany, but I've called the Yukon home since 2008.  

I work as park ranger, wilderness guide, first aid instructor, survival trainer, and I am the authour of a German book on wilderness survival. I am currently working on a second publication covering winter survival skills.  

As a dog musher I've had the opportunity to participate in a number of 200 and 300 mile races in Yukon and Alaska and parts of the MYAU trail. These trails are my regular stomping grounds for running my huskies and where I like to go winter camping and hunting.   

I've been a part of the Yukon Search & Rescue team as a volunteer for 14 years, which led to becoming involved with the MYAU trail crew in 2022.

Course Facilitators: About

Marianne's Bio

I first took part in the Yukon Arctic Ultra as a volunteer in 2007, this trip inspired me to take up running at the age of 37 and return to the Yukon as a competitor. 
Since 2007 I have taken part in the YAU on a number of occasions, completing the 100miles in 2009 and the 300miles in 2011 and again in 2019. I have attempted the 430miles twice, being unable to complete on the first occasion due to migraine and on the second occasion having to stop at Pelly Farm due to a bad shoe choice leading to numerous open blisters and wounds. 
I live in the Peak District in the UK with my partner Mike, who I met on the YAU in 2011, and our dog Tahra who loves to join me/us on runs and walks.

PC254488 - Copy.JPG
Course Facilitators: About Me
bottom of page