Welcome to our Arctic Challenger Competitors
The Montane Arctic Spine 129-mile Challenger Race kicks off in Abisko and concludes in Kvikkjokk, tracing a significant stretch of the Kungsleden Trail. Racers face the daunting task of completing this course within a strict 84-hour timeframe, a true test of endurance in tough conditions. Participants have the option to either go it alone or embrace the support and camaraderie of a team, which can consist of 2, 3, or 4 members.
We caught up with the Challenger Race competitors to uncover what motivated their entry. From surprising romantic gestures to the mesmerising Northern Lights, the Arctic’s extreme conditions hold an irresistible charm. For some, it’s a personal challenge of limits, while others savour the chance to tackle this demanding race with a trusted team. Amidst the anticipated highs and lows, there’s a determination uniting all our participants in their quest to conquer the Arctic Spine Challenger.
Arctic Spine Challenger Team: Exmoor Mountain Rescue
Caroline Barrett (GBR)
Why the Arctic: Amusingly Caroline’s partner signed her up for what promises to be a romantic 129-mile adventure in -35°C temperatures with two other people! A unique experience he claims.
Experience: Accomplished in numerous ultra marathons, including the Mongol 100 and has previous snowshoeing experience.
Excited for: The exhilaration of being out on the Kungsleden in the heart of winter.
Not so excited for: The unavoidable task of meal preparation in the freezing cold and navigating downhill sections with a pulk.
Daisy Goldsmith (GBR)
Why the Arctic: Despite some playful coercion from her teammates, the prospect of testing her mettle in the Arctic was too compelling for Daisy to resist!
Experience: Already in peak physical condition, this challenge aligns perfectly with Daisy’s abilities, a testament to her role in the Exmoor Mountain Rescue Team.
Excited for: That moment of crossing the finish line, a powerful demonstration of their teamwork.
Not so excited for: The biting cold and the inevitable pain that will come with it!
Charlie Wilkins (GBR)
Why the Arctic: Embracing the chance to challenge himself whilst experiencing the beauty of the Kungsleden Trail was too tempting to pass up.
Experience: Extensive background in hillwalking and mountain activities, with a dedicated role in the Exmoor Mountain RescueTeam.
Excited for: Everything! From the mesmerising winter landscapes to the team camaraderie, it’s bound to be a journey filled with memories of a lifetime.
Not so excited for: Anticipating the moments of exhaustion, and the inevitable doubts about meeting the time constraints.
Eoin Murray (GBR)
Why the Arctic: Looking forward to the challenge of a self-supported endurance event in extreme conditions alongside a team he trusts implicitly.
Experience: Multiple long-distance multi- and single-sport events, including Mongol 100.
Excited for: Working together as a team, overcoming every obstacle to cross the finish line, and sharing the experience of a lifetime.
Not so excited for: There doesn’t seem to be anything (so far)!
Arctic Spine Challenger: Solo Entrants
Tony Newton (USA)
Why the Arctic: Tony takes on a challenging adventure every few years, and the combination of timing, the Arctic locale and the Spine’s professionalism made this an enticing opportunity.
Experience: Trained in wilderness survival and mountaineering, Tony summited Denali and Aconcagua, and participated in numerous Alaska Iditarod Trail Invitationals.
Excited for: Exploring the Kungsleden Trail, with high hopes of witnessing the Northern Lights.
Not so excited for: Navigating the logistics of reaching the race start!
Rob Hopkins (GBR)
Why the Arctic: Rob’s fitness journey, evolving from cycling to triathlons, ultra marathons, and eventually mountaineering, led him to the Arctic. Introduced to skiing through Spine training, he’s eager for more challenges in this unique environment.
Experience: Extensive background in triathlons, ultra marathons, and mountain climbing, including Toubkal and Everest Base Camp.
Excited for: Embracing the Arctic terrain, finding solace in the mountains.
Not so excited for: Downhill skiing, though hoping practice will bring improvement!
As the Arctic Spine Challenger Race prepares for its launch in February, each entrant adds their own unique spark to this formidable race. Whether navigating solo or as part of a team, they confront the Arctic’s extreme conditions head on. With the race countdown underway, it’s evident this adventure will exemplify human endurance and camaraderie.
If this challenge beckons to you, don’t miss the chance before October 31st. Join us in etching a new chapter in Spine history along the Kungsleden Trail.
You can enter here.