Course Facilitators

Meet the team!

 

Course founder and organizer. MYAU veteran. Yukoner.

Shelley Gellatly

MYAU veteran. Yukoner.

Photo credit: Joe Bishop

Jessie Thomson-Gladish

MYAU veteran. Yukoner.

Gillian Smith

Honorary Yukoner from the UK. MYAU veteran.

Marianne Heading

Shelley's 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

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Jessie's Bio

Born and raised Yukoner, living in British Columbia at the moment. 
My first adventure race was actually 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 YAU on x-country skis. 
I have a love of the Yukon, and that is a significant reason I keep coming back to the MYAU, plus the people involved have become my good friends.
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 2021 to meet all the others new to the race and to see some familiar faces as well and try the trail on a bike!

 

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 430mile but was unable to finish. In 2018, I volunteered as a medic at the Ken Lake checkpoint. 


In 2019 I finished the 430 miler, 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.

 

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.

 

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