611.5 km Ice Road Race – The toughest sporting event I’ve ever heard of… no really!!!

So I got the chance to drive 280km with a friend along an ice road from Inuvik to back to Fort McPherson ( where I am living and working as a volunteer) via the little community of Aklavic – the whole journey was on frozen rivers and channels that make up the Beaufort Delta region in the far North Western Arctic region here in Canada.


The most surprising thing was coming across the toughest sporting event I’ve ever heard of – a 380 MILE (611.5 km!!!) marathon ( the 6633Arctic Ultra Marathon ) where the competitors have to drag a sled or a tiny cart the whole journey with all their food sleeping equipment on board.


The last few days the participants have had to conquer a mountain pass through Blizzard conditions ( – 45 C ) and then to walk along the Peel river channel along the mighty McKenzie and then finish off their walk to venture on the newly completed highway across the Tundra to Tuktoyaktuk ( known as “Tuk” by the locals) which is on the Arctic Ocean. I had the privilege in December of standing on the Frozen arctic Ocean in 48 degrees C below freezing at that part of the world – truly bucket list material.


When my Friend Jeff and I in his trusty Ford Truck were halfway through our journey we see this dot that turns into a guy dragging his sled on the ice road in 35 C Below temperatures – just incredible and unbelievable to witness. Then 20 km later a second entrant appears against the white of the snow and ice on the river then we see a Trailer (Caravan in Oz) with two guys manning a checkpoint – we then see two more brave souls a few kms further up the Peel river still trudging along. As I write this, I still can’t believe that (a) people do this and (b) I got to drive on a frozen river for over 4 hours on a “road” trip.


Do yourself a favour – check out my blog at richardmarlow.info to see some photos of the big drive and then have a look at the official race website at www.6633ultra.com






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About Richard Marlow

a humble middle-years teacher in a “middle of the road” private school in Brisbane having being a pastor, a youth worker, a school chaplain, a bank johnnie – 3 different banks, worked in Jails, driven a cab and been in bands amongst other things.


  1. What some people don’t do for entertainment! You ought to learn to chill out, Richard!

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