The inaugural Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra (MLAU) concluded this month, after a thrilling ten days of endurance and commitment which saw the participants test themselves against some of the harshest and most hostile conditions on the globe.
The race, a sister event of the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra (MYAU), is an ultra-race for runners, bikers, and skiers set in the Heart of Lapland, with ultra-athletes from all over the world in attendance. The race started and finished in Överkalix, which is situated in the Swedish province of Norbotten.
The event consisted of two separate trails, the first being a 185km long route situated Northeast of Överkalix, and the second being 315km long and based Northwest of Överkalix. Participants could choose to enter either the 185km trail, or the combined 500km trail.
The race began on March 6, 2022, after meticulous course planning, preparation, and safety checks by race organiser Robert Pollhammer, with good early conditions allowing participants to get off to a strong start.
The 185km event saw Montane athlete, Katy Parrott, secure fourth place with a finish time of 74hrs, in what was her first event since a near catastrophic knee injury sustained 14 months ago. Olivier Vriesendorp secured first place, recording a time of 52hrs.
The 500km event saw Kevin Leahy, fresh off his win at the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra in February, claim fourth place as he crossed the line in a time of 151hrs, with Dennis Pemsel, a veteran of the Montane Spine Race, finishing just behind in sixth place after a time of 156hrs. Both finished behind eventual winner Florian Reiterberger, who completed the course in a time of 124hrs.
Montane Athlete and race participant, Katy Parrott, said: “I knew I wanted my ‘comeback event’ to be one to remember – the MLAU was even better than I could have imagined! Having never done an Arctic Ultra before, I felt like a bit of a novice on the start line. However, as my body got used to moving with a pulk over tough snowy terrain, and I became more familiar with the kit, my confidence grew throughout the event. The landscapes were stunning so that kept me going during daylight, but the night times were difficult, especially as tiredness would set in. To come 4th overall (2nd female) in the 185km race only one year and three months after a knee reconstruction, far exceeded my expectations.”
Montane’s global marketing manager, Matthew Hickman, said: “We wanted to partner with the Lapland Arctic Ultra as we believe it embodies everything that Montane stands for as a brand – breaking boundaries, pushing yourself to feel truly alive, and journeying into the unknown. Over the ten days of the event, we have witnessed this in full force, as participants stepped into the extreme and hostile environment of the Lapland Arctic Ultra, pitting themselves against some of the harshest conditions on the globe, and conquering them.”
Montane has been providing innovative, lightweight, and breathable clothing and equipment for over 25 years, specifically designed for endurance sports and activities in some of the world’s harshest and most extreme environments. Alongside the MLAU, Montane also sponsors races such as the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra (MYAU), the Montane Spine Race, and the Montane Dragon’s Back Race, amongst others.