Fulda Challenge kicks off in Whitehorse
The Fulda Challenge, an annual event staged by the German tire company, Fulda, to help promote its products, kicked off in Whitehorse this week.
Seven teams from Europe are taking part in various outdoor races around the territory.
The Mount Sima alpine adventure park was the site for the first event of the week-long challenge. Some events, like the dog sled racing, are more aimed at fun while others, like a long distance run on the Dempster Highway, require lots of endurance.
Some of the teams are a mix of celebrity and athlete. A team from Munich is comprised of Christine Theiss, a world kickboxing champion, and Matthias Killing, a well-known TV host and sports commentator.
“It's a kind of life dream to have an adventure like this,” said Killing. “I have a great partner in Christine, she's a great sportswoman in Germany, I'm not so sporty, so I think she will help me reach my aim,
“My normal job is talking, talking about sport. Now I have to do sport, it's very hard.”
This is Killing's first trip to the Yukon, while Theiss competed in last year's event.
“I think the most difficult thing for us is the cold,” said Theiss. “Especially in the north of Yukon, Dawson City and much higher. Last year we had -48 C at maximum so I hope it will be a little warmer this year.”
This is the 14th year for the Fulda Challenge. Organizer Holger Bergold said it's still a worthwhile investment for the company.
“We still can get new journalists and new media up here,” he said. “We introduce new tire products. We test tires and we show basically the attributes of the tires and you can only really do it here in an area where it's harsh and cold and beautiful.”
The Yukon government pitches in $150,000 for the event but it says in return Fulda spends about $1 million in the territory and it estimates the publicity in Europe is worth another $5 million.