Arctic Spine Race Roster Announcement: 293 Mile Entrants

Meet the brave pioneers taking on the Arctic Spine Race so far...

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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.


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: Among the many completions, podiums and FKTs on Kevin’s CV, he was the winner of the 100-mile version of the Montane Yukon Ultra in 2020 and 2nd in the full 500km Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra in 2022. Look up the documentary ‘1000km of Chaos’ for a deeper delve into Kevin’s racing history.
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!

Mael Jouan (FRA)

Why the Arctic: Mael has completed the Beyond the Ultimate Ice Ultra in this area and grabbed the chance to take on another challenge in a place he found so beautiful.
Experience: An ever-growing list of Ultra Marathon finishes in a variety of extreme environments, in the Arctic Tundra, sweltering Amazon Jungle, the boiling Namib Desert and beyond.
Excited for: The challenge, the chance to prove himself and the chance to be immersed in the beauty of northern Sweden once again.
Not so excited for: Sleep deprivation.

Montane Arctic Spine Teams

You can take on the Arctic Spine as a solo challenger or part of a 2, 3, or 4-person team. As with the solo entrants, the team race takes place along the Kungsleden from Abisko to Hemavan in Arctic Sweden, traversing four national parks and offering a breathtaking winter landscape.

Team Uhuru are set to tackle the 293-mile Arctic Spine Race, each bringing a unique background and determination. From ski touring and ultra running to military backgrounds, they’re a diverse and determined group. Discover more about our competitors as we ask what drives them and what inspires them as they prepare to conquer the Arctic wilderness.

Edward Sellon (GBR)

Why the Arctic: For the ultimate (but accessible) arctic adventure. Extreme environments are better with friends. And friends are made better by extreme environments.
Experience: Two decades of experience in the British Army, currently serving as a full-time Medical Officer, participated in numerous winter exercises in Norway.
Excited for: Embracing the Arctic tundras relentless challenge.
Not so excited for: The howling gales, a fierce reminder of nature.

Angus Currie (GBR)

Why the Arctic: Passionate about exploration and adventure in beautiful settings. Angus cherishes challenges together with his friends and for personal growth.
Experience: 430-mile Yukon Arctic Ultra, decades of experience in skiing and ski touring, and completed the Spine Challenger
Excited for: Self-sufficiency, vast space, stunning scenery, team camaraderie – being immersed in the experience, leaving the pure essence of the moment.
Not so excited for: The hours training in the dark, cold and wet over Christmas!

Alexander Allen (GBR)

Why the Arctic: The Spine comes with great pedigree and this being the inaugural race adds extra excitement. It will be a great environment to test the team. Plus – it’s undeniably beautiful.
Experience: Yukon Arctic Ultra (430 miles), ex-British Army Infantry/Special Forces officer
Excited for: Race prep, honing cold weather skills, starry nights, and the exhilarating challenge.
Not so excited for: The day after, when it all ends.

Final thought

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.

About the Author

Jenny Hall

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