6633 Arctic Ultra: training update.....the final push!

 

Wright Pass Saturday 768x512

It's the end of February and I'm due to fly out to Canada to race the 6633 Arctic Ultra on Sunday! Where has the time gone? The last 2-3 months has absolutely flown by, the training for the 6633 Arctic Ultra has been very intense recently and the amount of planning, testing & checking of kit and equiment has been significant, to say the least! And with that in mind, here's the training update for February:    

February's training hours break down as:

  • Running: zero 
  • Hiking: 55hr 
  • Strength: 7hr30
  • Misc (research, testing equipment, planning food): 28hr 

From the training stats you can see that compared to last month the pure running was zero, the hiking specific training has decreased (due to the taper required before racing), the strength training has remained constant and amount of time I'm spent researching, planning and testing has almost doubled (yes, there's a LOT of planning and testing required in the final weeks for this kind of adventure!). 

Some of the key training sessions in February have been:

  • Bigger training days (testing kit & equipment)
  • Pulling the pulk (fully loaded with equipment)
  • Night hikes (then straight into the bivvy bag and sleeping for a couple of hours)
  • Testing, testing, testing!
  • Planning, planning, planning!

As you can see, I've spent quite a bit of time finalising my systems and strategies for the event, especially surrounding choices of food, hydration, clothing and equipment. This has meant changing a few strategies and lots of last minute panic buying from Amazon!  

Pre Race Training Session Tuesday evening 768x576As this is my final training blog post, I hope you've enjoyed tracking my 6633 Arctic Ultra training journey. I'll try to post up another blog post from Whitehorse or Eagle Plains in Canada, just before I start the event on the 7th March, just to give you one last update and my final thoughts going into the event.

Once I arrive in Vancouver, I get a connecting flight to Whitehorse (2.5 hour flight), where I spend 2 days buying food and any kit that I've forgotten, doing mandatory kit checks and an outdoor kit & sled testing session with the support crew (so the race director and safety team are happy that we know how to set up our bivvy, get into our sleeping bags quickly and set up our cooking system to boil snow), before driving almost 500 miles north from Whitehorse to the start point at Eagle Plains (I'm sure this'll be a long, but stunningly beautiful drive). We'll then overnight in Eagle Plains and start the event at 10:30am the following morning.   

 

Just as a quick reminder, here's a few bullet points highlighting the race and a few useless facts:

  • 383 miles on foot
  • 9 days
  • Approx 45 miles a day
  • Approx 800,000 total steps
  • Approx 85,000 total calories burnt
  • Expected temperatures of -40'C (went as low as -76'C during the 2007 race)
  • Athletes racing from 11 different countries

As I mentioned in my first blog post "6633 Arctic Ultra.....setting the scene" (you can check it out HERE) I'm going into this 'race' as a personal challenge and not as a true race. The extreme conditions and the very high DNF rate (some years there have been no finishers at all) mean that finishing the race will be an emormous achievement and one which I will desperately try to do. Sometimes you've got to step outside of your comfort zone and that's exactly what I'll be doing once I hit the Arctic Circle. To say I'm nervous is a massive understatement, but I'm excited in equal measure. The finish line is at the almost mythically named hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk on the edge of the Arctic Ocean, this is where I hope to be on the 16th March......wish me luck!