CHESTER’S Richard Webster will soon embark on an Arctic challenge which only four people in the world have ever completed.
The 6633 Arctic Ultra takes place in Canada and is a 350 mile foot race from Eagle Plains, Canada to Tuktoyaktuk on the edge of the Arctic Ocean, and claims to be the ‘toughest, coldest, windiest Extreme Ultra Marathon on the planet’.
The event takes its name from the latitude at which the route crosses into the Arctic Circle, 66 degrees 33 minutes.
Shortly after this point, it travels through an area known as ‘Hurricane Alley’, over the summit of the Wright pass, where wind speeds often exceed 100 mph, and wind chill lowers the temperature to a perishing -80°C.
From there on the race goes along long, straight roads which will be psychologically challenging, before continuing to the finish via the Ice Road – an highway fashioned annually from frozen rivers and the Arctic Ocean.
Competitors must be entirely self-sufficient throughout, and must pull on a sledge everything they require for the race. They must also complete the 350 miles in the eight-day time limit.
Already an experienced ultra-athlete, with nine ironman triathlons, several ultra-marathons and the Marathon des Sables behind him, Chester Triathlon Club member Richard has not been taking preparation for the race lightly.
His training has involved running over 100 miles a week and as well taking as day-long walks dragging a tyre behind him.
The race starts on March 12, and you can follow Richard’s progress throughout this challenge on his blog, www.rwrunner.blogspot.com, where there are also photographs and videos of the race.