Athlete Q&A: Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra 2024

The Lapland Arctic Ultra returns and this year trailblazing #TeamMontane athlete Jenny Tough will be taking up the sub-zero challenge with her fat bike in tow…

Based in remote Swedish Lapland, The Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra is another winter challenge brought to you by Robert Pollhamer, mastermind of the Yukon Arctic Ultra. Taking up the challenge this year will be Jenny Tough, who is now eager to take on the Swedish wilderness in winter. 

Jenny will follow in the snow tracks of fellow #teamontane member Katy Parrot, who took on the MLAU previously. Hear Katy’s account of a day on the Lapland trail to get a feel for what participants can expect along the way. Keep scrolling to hear how Jenny has prepared for the race and how she plans to tackle the route…

What’s the lure of the Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra?

I’m really excited to learn how to race in arctic conditions. I’m used to a style of racing where you go as hard as you can, but in these conditions, racers have to be far more conservative, and I think that’s really fascinating and unique. For example, you have to manage your pace based on how much sweat you’re creating (sweat = hypothermia), rather than how the legs feel! 

Above all, I’m just really looking forward to being out on some arctic trails in the middle of the night. It’s not an experience a person normally gets!


How will you be tackling the MLAU?

I’m riding the 500km distance on my fat bike. I’m excited to take on these conditions with the extra hassle of a bike - clearly the worst vehicle for traveling in the Arctic! - and if I reach the finish line it could be a qualifying ride for other big winter bike races :).

How do you think your solo expeditions have prepared you for a race like this?

My history of solo expeditions has really helped me in ultra racing. You learn how to manage your emotions, stay safe/healthy, and keep calm when things hit the fan. After so much solo expedition experience, I always feel like ultra races are a bit of a party because I’m doing the same activities I’ve done before, only this time there are lots of other athletes around to share the experience with.


What’s the coldest place you have explored previously?

Well, I grew up in Alberta, so I’m pretty accustomed to very deep winters. My hometown hits colder than -20 on the regular, and as a year-round runner, I learned a lesson or two on frostbite at a young age.


What’s in your kit list?

Packing for this event is hard because it takes quite a lot of gear (the mandatory kit list for this event organisation is pretty extensive!) to stay safe and a heck of a lot more to also be comfortable, but all that equipment is the energy your body has to put out to drag through the snow. Everything I’m packing needs to be carefully considered as a piece I can both trust to make it through the distance, and also be lightweight enough that I can manage it.

Highlights include the Anti Freeze Down Jacket and down pants which I’ll be sleeping in and possibly riding if things are very cold; the protium hooded fleece as my mid layer (layers are literally the most important thing to nail in cold events!); and I’m currently thinking I’ll bring at least 4 options for gloves and mittens - I cannot stand cold hands, especially when I need my hands to hang on to the bike!

Jenny Tough will take on the Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra on 03 March, head over to our official event hub to find out more.