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Diane Van Deren Attempts “Hardest Event In The World”

The North Face athlete Diane Van Deren to race 430 miles in -48 degree conditions

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The North Face, the world’s premier supplier of authentic, innovative and technically advanced outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear, today announced The North Face Endurance team athlete Diane Van Deren will return to the Yukon Arctic Ultra, touted as the world’s coldest and toughest footrace.

Starting February 15, 2009, Van Deren will cover 430 miles in a punishing arctic environment, 130 miles more than her last year’s win, which was 300 miles in 2008’s Yukon Arctic Ultra. Last year, of the 31 entered, 24 participants withdrew from their respective races (marathon, 100-mile or 300-mile), some losing fingers and toes to hypothermia.

“I am encouraged by the fact that I can take my experience from last year to another level of endurance and athleticism,” said Van Deren.

Competitors will have 13 days to complete the route, and must be totally self-sufficient. Van Deren will be towing her own sled of supplies across the frozen landscape. While she will be carrying gear to fend off an arctic blizzard, as well as an 8,000 calorie per day diet, to eliminate excess weight, she has pared her sled down to a mere 45 lbs.

“The knowledge I gained from last year touches on things such as how to handle -40 degree temperature, how to pace myself, that I must stop and drink fluids more often, that I must gain more rest at each checkpoint, I would tape my feet differently,” said Van Deren. “I must do my own race, stay focused, and concentrate on getting to each checkpoint successfully.”

The 430-mile course is a first of its length, starting in Whitehorse, Canada. The race traverses the Yukon and Takhini Rivers, to end in Dawson City, Yukon. If successful, Van Deren will become the first female to complete the 430 miles on the most extreme course in the Yukon arctic region. In addition, this race will align with Van Deren’s “Miles for a Mission,” a fundraising effort to help patients and families affected by spinal cord and traumatic brain injury.

For more than 40 years The North Face athlete team has defined the limits of what is humanly possible, and continually works with Research, Design & Development, creating innovative designs that push new technologies and inspire cutting-edge products.

For more information on Diane Van Deren, visit
For information on the Yukon Arctic Ultra, and to follow the race, visit

About The North Face®
The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in San Leandro, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company’s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains.