Frozen Experiences of a Lifetime: Run, Bike, or Ski a Winter Ultramarathon (Yukon; Wisconsin)

The ultimate North American winter bucket list

    Photo: Eva Holland

This one’s for the sufferfest crowd. Regular ol’ ultramarathon not challenging enough for you? Try running one at 20, 30, or 50 below.

One of the toughest winter races out there is the Yukon Arctic Ultra, which begins in Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon, each year. It’s choose your own adventure: You can run, snow-bike, or cross-country ski, and you can go for a regular marathon distance, 100 miles, 300 miles, or 430 miles, all the way to Dawson City. The route follows the Yukon Quest sled dog trail a day after the dogs come through, so mind where you step. This year’s race begins on February 3, 2013.

Another extreme Yukon option is the 6633 Ultra, named for the latitudinal coordinates of the Arctic Circle. The race runs along the Dempster Highway and the Tuktoyaktuk ice road from just south of the Circle to the shore of the Arctic Ocean. Runners can go for either 120 or 350 miles. This year the 6633 goes on March 22, 2013.

Slightly saner is the Tuscobia Winter Ultra, which took place in northern Wisconsin from December 28-30, 2012. Racers can run, bike, or ski through 35, 75, or 150 miles of a Great Lakes winter. Totally reasonable, right?

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