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New winter ultra challenges athletes with a cold, hard race across the Arctic

The Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra
The Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra takes runners, bikers and skiers through the heart of Lapland in winter (Image credit: Swedish Lapland)

British outdoor clothing brand Montane has announced its title sponsorship of a gruelling new winter ultra-race to take place in Lapland in March 2022. The Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra will see runners, bikers and skiers racing for hundreds of kilometres across the frozen landscape of Sweden’s northernmost county.

Athletes can choose from two separate race courses – one 185km trail and the other 315km – or choose to combine the two for a 500km journey. The race is open to individuals and teams who will tackle frozen rivers and lakes and swamps and forests on foot, cross country skis or on mountain bikes. Regardless of which course and race method they pick, what’s certain is that participants can expect serious cold and wind chill, with March temperatures in this beautiful Swedish wilderness hovering around -3°C during the day and dropping to around -25°C at night.

The Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra

Participants will cross the Arctic circle up to four times through the duration of the race (Image credit: Swedish Lapland)

“This area of Sweden is beautiful, but isn’t very well known yet," explains race organizer Robert Pollhammer, adding "With the MLAU we hope we can help change that and inspire more people to experience this great region. The MLAU will be one of the longest, if not the longest, non-stop winter ultra in Europe and it will be tough.”

The race format is non-stop, through night and day, allowing participants to decide themselves when and where to have a break. Participants will cross the Arctic circle up to four times through the duration of the race. 

“Excited doesn't even come close to how I feel about competing in the Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra. I am looking forward to doing it for so many reasons - to explore somewhere new with such epic landscapes, but also to get back into my love of endurance following a recent major knee injury,” says Montane ambassador Katy Parrott, who will be competing in the event.

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.