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Ultramarathon in the arctic

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Athletes test their willpower across hundreds of kilometres.




It's a very long road from Eagle Plains, Yukon to Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories: A distance of 500 kilometres over a wind-swept Dempster Highway and the frozen Mackenzie River.

Incredible that people travel that distance on foot.

For five years now, some of the world's top long-distance runners have met every March in the NWT for the 6633 Ultramarathon.

Some years temperatures have been in the -30c range.

Runners carry their own supplies, and meet a support crew at checkpoints; usually every three days. They are also watched by a medical crew for signs of frostbite and other injury.

Runners pull cards or sleds with food,  sleeping bags and even boil snow for water; some runners will travel up to 18 or 20 hours at a time before setting up camp. 

In the race's 5-year-history, only two people have managed to finish.

This year, 12 of 13 competitors either dropped out, or stopped racing once they reached Inuvik.

CBC reporter Philippe Morin caught up with Lowrie Morgan, a Welsh television personality who is set to become the third person ever to finish the ultra-marathon.

At the time of this interview, she had been on the road for six days.
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