Introducing the fearless solo competitors of the Montane Arctic Spine Race – a gruelling 293-mile (472km) journey from Abisko to Hemavan along the Kungsleden Trail. They’ll face temperatures as low as -35°C and winds gusting up to 40 mph, all within a tight 192-hour window. Self-reliance and cold-weather expertise are essential for this demanding endeavour.
Our participant stories, diverse experiences, and unwavering determination is what defines this extraordinary race. From mental health triumphs to quests for unique winter adventures, their motivations mirror the varied terrains they’ll conquer.
Join us as we bring you a brief introduction to the backgrounds, motivations, and expectations of our entrants for this challenging expedition. These individuals represent endurance and grit like no other, and next February, they’ll tackle the ultimate Arctic test.
Mike Stevenson (GBR)
Why the Arctic: It’s the unique, unpredictable landscape that calls Mike back time and time again.
Experience: Solo, unsupported journeys from Siberia to Mongolia, Sweden to Norway, with a world record in the fastest Lake Baikal crossing.
Excited for: The first ever Arctic Spine race, exploring the Sarek National Park and mesmerising sunrises and sunsets.
Not so excited for: Sleep deprivation, deep snow and blisters! But it’s all part of the adventure.
Joe Barrs (GBR)
Why the Arctic: The spirited Spine Race community inspired Joe to embark on this pioneering journey.
Experience: A seasoned adventurer with a history of winter ultramarathons, Alpine skiing and mountaineering, and military service as a Royal Marines Commando.
Excited for: Exploring new territory with the Spine community.
Not so excited for: This doesn’t apply!
Robin Imthorn (NLD)
Why the Arctic: Robin’s journey is about breaking barriers and inspiring others, driven by the resilience forged through overcoming mental health challenges from military service. Robin is a strong advocate for openness about mental health and the importance of seeking help.
Experience: A background in the Dutch Marines and recent feats in ultra challenges.
Excited for: Exploring the wild Arctic environment and meeting new people.
Not so excited for: The inevitable fatigue!
Kevin Leahy (IRL)
Why the Arctic: Kevin is drawn by the promise of epic scenery and an immense challenge.
Experience: Completing two 500km Arctic races, including the Yukon Arctic Ultra.
Excited for: Finding his rhythm after the race starts and immersing in the experience.
Not so excited for: Those early, 4am wake-ups after 2 hours sleep!
Rob Brooks (GBR)
Why the Arctic: Polar realms have always captivated Rob, heightened by his training with Phil Hayday-Brown in Arctic Sweden last year.
Experience: Two successful winter Spine completions, numerous ultras, and Spine Arctic training.
Excited for: Returning to the extraordinary, untouched Arctic landscape.
Not so excited for: Navigating the logistics of getting there and back!
Barclay Morison (GBR)
Why the Arctic: Barclay seeks a once-in-a-lifetime winter challenge in an incredible part of the world.
Experience: A seasoned multi-day ski tourer with impressive multiple long-distance events, including conquering a race with a staggering 9,000m of vertical gain.
Excited for: The tranquillity, epic scenery, and of course, the challenge!
Not so excited for: There’s little dampening his spirits!
Robi Dattatreya (NLD)
Why the Arctic: Robi’s fascination with the polar environment stems from his BTU Ice Ultra experience, leading him to the Arctic Spine.
Experience: An impressive resume with over 25 ultra marathons and 30 years of downhill skiing.
Excited for: The preparation and the ultimate satisfaction of crossing the finish line!
Not so excited for: Sleep deprivation!
As we wrap up this introduction to the remarkable participants of the Montane Arctic Spine Race, one thing is abundantly clear: their tenacity knows no bounds. These individuals embody the true spirit of endurance. As we anticipate the trials and triumphs of February, the Arctic test promises to be nothing short of extraordinary.
And if their journeys have ignited a spark of adventure within you, remember, it’s not too late to join them. Entries remain open until 31st October. Visit our website to learn more about this exceptional race or schedule a call with Phil Hayday Brown. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable Arctic adventure!