I promise to do a full day by day write up over the coming weeks, but for now I just wanted to let everyone know that we finally completed the Yukon 1000, a 1000 mile unsupported survival race into the Arctic Circle, and what a truly incredible and epic adventure it was! We finished the worlds longest unsupported survival paddle race, the in 8 days, 13 hours and 3 mins and were the first SUP team in!
More people have walked on the moon than have raced the Yukon 1000 on SUPs
We got off to a great start, and looking back over the race tracker we now know we had nearly a 30km lead over the second SUP team by the end of day one, and each day we kept adding to that gap. But with all comms banned apart from a satellite phone for use only the case of emergency, we literally had no idea what was going on behind us until the first kayak managed to catch us at just over 600 miles in and gave us some intel, telling us they passed the other SUP team over two days ago.
The whole race was a truly humbing experience; the last 500 miles or so we really were off the face of the earth with support / assistance days away if things went ‘south’.
The sun never really set and we didnt see another human for days.
I feel truly honoured to have travelled to somewhere so remote, one of the last untouched wildernesses on earth - it truly lives up to its title of the last frontier. I actually found it rather liberating - the only thing you focussed on was the moment; what you had in front of you, your paddle partner, navigating the river and making sure you didnt do anything silly that could result in making a bad decision that would extend the race by hours, or cause injury or harm.
There was a strange clarity in your thinking and reasoning, and this was all after 8 nights of 3 hours sleep, wherever we could find somewhere safe to camp.
It was an honour to share this experience with a select few individuals, and our other UK SUP mates Martin Rendle and Kim Foster - we can each look each other in the eyes knowing only we know just what it was like out there!
SISU - Extraordinary determination, courage and resoluteness in the face of extreme adversity. An action mindset which enables individuals to see beyond their present limitations and into what might be"
Without getting all too deep and meaningful I hope our journey inspires others to do something that really puts you outside of what you think is possible - the thought of paddling for 18 hours a day for nearly 9 days seems crazy but you just find a rhythm - the mind and the body are a lot more capable than you give them credit for.
As David Goggins says;
when you feel like giving up you are at about 40% of your true capacity.