From Eagle Plains to Tuktoyakatuk
"I chose this race because I've done some events in heat and whilst I love the heat and it will always be a challenge I wanted to push myself differently. An event called Fire and Ice in Iceland in September 2017 was a stab at performing in the cold but in the end it was not much colder than an average English winter.
The 6633, however, is in a different league. It is run entirely in Canada and just getting there is an adventure with a flight to Vancouver, then another to a small place called Whitehorse. From there is a drive north to the start in Eagle Plains. The finish for the 120 mile race is in Fort McPherson and the 380 mile version finishes at Tuktoyakatuk on the shore of the Arctic Ocean almost 9 days later!
This is a self sufficient race so I went out there with a Pulk (sled) to carry all my necessary kit, pulling it along myself and on it was all my food, my sleeping bag, a bivvy bag (an outer survival layer for protection), cooking equipment and all my other bits and pieces including, of course, the very anti-cancer drugs that are essential for my prolonged scrap with prostate cancer. This was an unbelievably tough event for many reasons -you can read more about it in my blogs- and this was filmed by Richard Alexander for his upcoming film. The stuff he shot shows the beauty of the place, as well as doing a pretty good of showing how harsh, barren and massive the place is.
The worst thing for me was probably the sleep deprivation, the severe cold coming in second and, like I said, there is a list of things that make this difficult... too much to go into here. Eventually, of the almost 30 runners who signed up for this, only 2 of us managed to finish the 120 mile version, and only 6 the longer race. I think that shows just how tough this was"