700 km in the cold wilderness of Canada

Henrik from Blue Water completed the world's most extreme ultra race

The Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra is the world's most extreme ultra race. 700 kilometres in the wilderness of Canada with snow, ice, temperatures as low as -40°C, and a limit of 13 days to complete the race. The first time Henrik Benzon from Blue Water Port Services in Esbjerg heard about it, he thought it was crazy. However, he completed the race in 10 days and finished 4th out of 22 starters.

For many months, Henrik followed a strict training programme with training hours in the middle of the night to get used to the darkness and the freezing temperatures in Canada. Henrik did a lot of research on finding the right way to train and prepare himself.

“Just like at work, you must be open to finding the right solution – even after thinking you found the one. The most asked question at the starting line was 'are you ready?'. I could not be more ready than I was at the point. I have done all the preparations to get here, standing at the start I knew I could do it". But confesses Henrik: "Of course, I had a bit of doubt in the back of my mind. It is a crazy race under even crazier circumstances”.

Challenges were plenty

During the 700-kilometre race, the participants pass various checkpoints along the way. In total, the trail has nine checkpoints between 40 kilometers or sometimes up to 110 kilometers. It gave Henrik the possibility to rest and warm up his body – but not for long, as the clock was ticking. At the majority of the checkpoints, Henrik only stopped for half an hour and continued full speed again: “You do not get much sleep when you are on the trail, but that is the name of the game”, he explains.

For Henrik, the hardest part of the race was the days when there was fresh snow, which made the trail almost fully invisible. “Up and down the mountains in fresh snow, it took me 18 hours to cover only 50 kilometres. Also, to be alone in the darkness for many days in line is difficult, but pretty special too”, he says.

After 10 days of walking in the snow and seeing the Northern lights almost every night, Henrik made it to the finish. It felt surreal: "In the distance, I saw the lights at the finish line, and I knew I would make it. It is a lifechanging experience”, Henrik finishes.