Frode Lein (49) became number three in the 483 kilometer long competition, dubbed the world's coldest and toughest ultra. Wolf, evacuation, frostbite and magnificent nature summarize the long adventure.

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The adventurer Frode Lein has previously run and competed over the great mountain ranges in the world, through the most dangerous deserts, the ice towards the South Pole, across Greenland, as well as deep in jungles.
- In summary, it has been warmer than 60 degrees, and colder than minus 45 degrees, humidity above 90 percent and higher than 6000 meters above sea level. And now colder than 50 degrees, Lein says.

Biting cold

January 6, 2018, barely a month before the race, he decided to be the first Norman to participate in the coldest contest that is tracing - Yukon Arctic Ultra. This year's edition was also the coldest edition of history.

  • cbc news.  
    • That first Norwegian, Frode Lein, said winter in Norway may not be as cold as people think. He sees the Yukon race as the ultimate adventure.
      • «I think it's good for people to forget about everything around and Facebook and all this stuff and television, and so go back to the basics, and see what's needed,» said Lein.
    • Lein, who has run in ultra races around the world, said it's also a chance to see humans at their most basic level.
      • «In races like this, the first two days, people try to be polite and try to be something else than they are. Men etter to dage kan de ikke fake anymore - så du ser folkene, og det er ganske kult, det er bra, sier Lein.

In this competition, the participants have to deal with everything from tents, sleeping bags, clothes, cookers, food and drinks with each and every pulk.

- With temperatures between -45 to -54 it was so cold that we did not feel the cold come before it was too late. You just got blue. As a participant, it was important to master everything with the witnesses, look up tents, primitive boys and eat food - for under no circumstances could they take away, Lein says.

And the biting cold there were many participants who were not ready for it.
- The surroundings in Yukon are very similar to the Nordic, with large lakes, rivers and forests. I exercise a lot in Rondane in winter, testing a lot of equipment and was so well equipped for the race itself. Unfortunately, many were not. On the starting line there were more than fifty people and already after the first day twenty competitors had been evacuated.

  • Yukon news
    • As or 2 pm Feb. 5, South African Jethro De Decker is in first place followed by Canadian Ilona Gyapay, who is competing on skis. Italian Roberto Zanada, Danish Asbjørn Bruun and Norwegian Frode Lein round out the top five.

After five days, only five participants left.


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"I've never seen so many and bad frostbite before. Participants coming from all over the world were both professional and Olympic runners, navy hunters and special soldiers, and so well-trained, but the extreme cold they were not prepared for. There was insufficient knowledge of equipment, poor clothing for high activity, and little understanding of the Arctic climate or how to avoid and treat frostbite.
It was sad to see competitors who did not understand the consequences of their actions and a nonchalant organizer in this extreme cold. Several frost damage will lead to amputation.


During the course of the course, it was set up to checkpoints with time requirements, where the runners were able to warm themselves up.

"It could be 10 to 18 hours between each checkpoint, and that way you had to manage yourself in those hours. The organizers had a few snowmobiles outside during the daytime, but they were informed ahead of time that they had to manage themselves.
A few days before Whitehorse started, Lein greeted a Danish competitor; Asbjørn Bruun. The first night out they found out that they kept about the same pace, and they decided to look at each other over night.
"We made a common strategy that night and held together for the rest of the race. I was in control of the race, all at the right pace, electrolytes, fluid and energy intake. Asbjørn with a long military service north of Greenland was a great boss when we were to camp and had full control of the tent and primus, Lein said.

One morning, the runners were held at the control points for several hours when extreme cold down to -53 caused the electronics and snowmobiles to cease to work. This "delay" resulted in the runners getting less time reaching the next checkpoints during the race. After six days, Asbjørn and Frode considered it too unreasonable to carry out a move over twenty hours to meet the time requirements of the next checkpoints. Then they had traveled for less than 300 kilometers.

"When they continued the following day, they were informed that the competitor had chosen to continue on the night before, reported missing. He was first evacuated by helicopter to hospital twelve and a half hours later. The organizers later chose to stop the race before the original distance was completed.

Lein was then number three of the runners, and his Danish friend Asbjørn as the number two of those who went skiing. They had no hint of frostbite or frostbite.

Summary from Frode:

Great surroundings, challenging trams, pleasant surroundings and good competitors. Organizers have a number of improvement points that mainly concern respect for the extreme cold.

  • The organizer allowed participants without sufficient understanding and experience of cold start.
    • It was possible to buy a six-hour course at $ 90 which included a 90-minute hike in the cold where first aid, firing of the bonfire and primus was the focus.
  • The organizer demanded $ 150 in payment to evacuate participants in need.
    • Not everyone was able to afford evacuation and stretched the limits too far.
  • The organizer punished participant who received assistance from another participant with a time penalty.
    • This is not normal and scares participants from helping each other and it oozes bad sports spirit.

"Twenty-two evacuated after a day, five participants left after five days."

Togetherness and mood feeling

Frode and Asbjørn still have good contact.
Something I like about this type of competition is the connection you get with the other participants, helping and supporting each other towards "common" goals - good sports spirit.

"Many might call you crazy, but what's it that drives you to participate in such extreme competitions?
The first answer comes soon and in cash.

- Because I can.

After a while, the hakadøl answers a little more.
"When you complete such races you will be left with a feeling of mastering. Being able to overcome all the elements nature has to offer, while enjoying the natural forces and the adventure you are involved in, is what attracts me.
In Yukon I heard the wolf owl at night and on the last day I also saw one. The scenery is amazing. In addition, one gets something to look forward to. A break from everyday life. I urge everyone to explore their boundaries.


  • Yukon Arctic Ultra goes along the trail to the dog race "Yukon Quest".
  • Was arranged from February 1 and stopped seven days later in Yukon, Canada.
  • You can complete the race either by running, cycling by fatbike or skiing
  • You can choose between the marathon distances, 100 miles or 300 miles.
  • Known as the world's coldest and toughest ultrasound.

Frode Lein

  • Born: September 10, 1968
  • Marital status: Married to Wivi, three daughters, Thea Cecilie, Lone Andrine and Live Mathilde
  • Sports team: Nittedal Banquet Racers and Romerike Ultraløperklubb

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