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Ice Ultra

19-Feb-2019 Lapland, Sweden

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1 REVIEWS
Snow Race Race Terrain
230KM / 140Miles
5 Days

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Expert  

Entry From £2500 GBP

This is Swedish Lapland. Laying inside the Arctic Circle it’s Europe’s last remaining wilderness and the heartland of the indigenous Sámi people. 

This area, Jokkmokk municipality, an area the size of Wales but with a population of only around three thousand, can experience daytime temperatures as low as -40 degrees at this time of year and the days are short.

You’re standing in snow, surrounded by seemingly endless pine forests scattered with frozen lakes. White-capped mountains dominate the horizon. All around you is silent and peaceful broken only by the crunch of your steps in the snow as you make your way through 230km of this UNESCO world heritage area. 

As darkness descends at the end of each day you can expect to feel like the only person on the planet.

A 230km race split into 5 stages taking in Arctic tundra and frozen lakes all set against a back drop of white topped mountains.

The days are short and the course is long; runners should expect long periods running in darkness, following a marked route by head torch, under skies free of light pollution and filled with stars and sightings of aurora.

As a self-sufficient race you are responsible for carrying your entire kit, including food, safety equipment and a minimum of 1.5 litres of water which can be re-filled at checkpoints along the stages. You’ll need some specialist gear to take on the conditions the Arctic Circle can throw at you.

Accommodation each night is provided by way of remote huts and teepee tents with open fires for warmth.

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Event Organiser
Kris King

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Beginner

Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.

Intermediate

Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Advanced

Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Expert

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Brutal

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

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SpontaneousPlan

05:57 28-02-16

I ran this race in February 2016.

Beyond the Ultimate doesn't have the best re*****tion in the ultra running community so it's worth noting that BTU are under new management. The reason I bring this up is because the amount of work that the race director and team have put in to turn the event around and bring it up to the standards we expect as multi-day adventurers is outstanding. The Ice Ultra is not the finished article, but like any good runner the organisers learn from experience and take on board feedback from participants and watchers of the event alike. Putting on a race in this kind of environment isn't easy. A drop or rise in temperature of just 5 degrees changes the running conditions drastically and runners' safety is always the number 1 priority.

Pre-race organisation and communication was excellent throughout with the race director and previous competitors available to answer questions. Like so many races this one varies wildly on weather. A 5 degree swing in either direction can mean the difference between multiple layers and protecting yourself from frostbite to running through fresh soft snow and dealing with surface water on frozen lakes.

Checkpoints are manned by doctors from Exile Medics and usually one of either BTU staff or Sami (double-hard local guides). All checkpoints have a tent and gas burner so there's the opportunity to defrost if you've got into a bit of trouble between checkpoints, want to take on some hot water or if you just want to take a few minutes in the warmth.

Overnight accommodation varies from tents to log cabins. An overnight bag is transported between campsites allowing you to get into something warm at the end of the stage and dry your race kit overnight.

The race itself varies largely between crossing open frozen lakes and winding tracks through forests. A fair few notable climbs thrown in there but nothing too taxing. Elevation is not the challenge on this race, thankfully, you'll already have plenty of other factors to deal with. If you have a "warm" race (-10) then it is likely to snow and underfoot will be soft. If this is the case then expect to spend a lot of time in snow shoes. If it gets colder the ground will harden and you'll be able to get away with running in grippy trainers.

Last, but probably most important of all, what is it like to run in Swedish Lapland? ABSOLUTELY STUNNING. Sometimes when you're hurting and just want to get to the end of the stage it's easy to bury your head and forget where you are. Take a moment, soak it in, YOU'RE IN THE ARCTIC CIRCLE. OH YEAH!

Did a small blog about the race if you want to know a bit more - http://www.susie-chan.com/#!Ice-Ultra/cyh4/56c9f9d80cf24743244c3db0 - Give me a shout if you want to know anything more.'

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