This afternoon in Jokkmokk, in front of the gathered race finishers and race team, Andrew Morris and Alasdair Fatkin crossed the finish line and brought Ice Ultra 2023 to a close in a party atmosphere.
For them, as for everyone else in the race, crossing that line represented something much more than just the culmination of 5 days of extreme effort. Their journeys are much longer. Andrew, for instance, had been working towards this race for 3 years and even the most recent sign-ups have been through months of training and research. Crossing that line is vindication for every inhumanely early morning run these guys have been out on, every social occasion they slunk out of early because they had a scheduled long run the next morning, every time their families and friends have missed seeing them because they are preparing for this challenge. Beyond that still, each of these runners has their own itch to scratch, their own motivating factor, that compels them to take on these seemingly superhuman challenges, and we hope each of them got to scratch that itch this week.
From the winner to the backmarker, nobody is the same after one of these races. The physical and mental toll is heavy and they may feel diminished for a while, but once they come to recognise the scale of what they’ve managed to achieve they will find a new surety in themselves that wasn’t there before. A core belief that they are capable of enduring and achieving more than they ever knew.
Massive Congratulations to Kristina Madsen who has won Ice Ultra 2023. She is the first female overall winner of a Beyond the Ultimate event. Kristina had nothing to prove to us coming here, we’d seen her race in our Jungle and Desert Ultras and had no doubt we would see the same strength and tenacity no matter what the environment. The race looked liked hers to lose from the earliest stretches of Stage One and she dominated with what appeared to be minimal effort.
We’ve been excitedly anticipating this for a long time, having seen some exceptionally strong performances from female athletes across our races. These distances and conditions are a great leveller. There is no woman less capable than any man in a challenge of this scale and we hope that Kristina’s performances inspire more women to join us in future as the Global Race Series takes us on our yearly tour of some of the most beautiful and challenging environments on earth.
Karl Alvarez took 2nd position overall and is the winning man in the race. He was the only person able to come close to Kristina and that alone is a massive achievement. He too seemed to thrive and made sections of the course that would have intimidated any athlete, no matter what their experience level, look straightforward. Karl is aiming to complete our entire Global Race Series in 12 months and this took him a 230km step closer.
The battle for 3rd place went down to the final 2 days of the race. Jack Folkestone went into Stage Four in 3rd position but with just a 7-minute lead on Simon Winchester. In the latter stages of that longest stage, Simon managed to close that gap and open up a larger one behind him. This was no bitter rivalry though and the runners crossed the line together this afternoon along with Gary Chapman. Jack Folkestone therefore finishers as 3rd man.
The 2nd and 3rd women in the race were Veronique Lievin and Robin Moore respectively. Both have been consistently strong throughout the event, seemingly more so as the trail went on. Veronique has raced with us before and we knew she had the pedigree for a performance like this, and in Robin Moore, we have discovered an athlete with arguably the largest reserve of positive mental energy we have ever encountered.
We could write endlessly about this race and still not come close to capturing it. In any case, there is an after-party about to start and we all need to get out of our battered arctic gear, and try to look presentable.
To really get a feel for this race, you have to see it for yourself. We’ll be back next year and you can be with us: Ice Ultra 2024 #GlobalRaceSeries
|POSITION||RACE #||First Name||Last Name||TIME||Time Behind Leader||Time Being Runner Ahead|
|18||6||Ashley||Radford*||59:34||30:49||06:46||*+16hrs for Assistance|
STAGE FIVE TIMES
|RACE #||First Name||Last Name||Arrival Time||Time Taken|