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Roddy Riddle is first Scot to finish brutal Arctic foot race

Written by Fiona

March 21 2017

Roddy Riddle has become the first Scotsman to finish the gruelling 6633 Arctic Ultra race. The former international cyclist finished in second place in this year’s 350-mile event, which took place in Canada.

The race, which crosses the Arctic Circle, is claimed as the world’s toughest, coldest and windiest foot races.

Roddy, who is Type 1 diabetic, crossed the line after 165.39 hours. He was seven hours behind the winner, Romanian Tiberiu Useriu, who also triumphed in 2016. Of the 18 starters, only seven finished the race.

Roddy, who slept for just 18 hours in total all week, said he was “delighted and surprised” to finish in less than seven days.

Last year, in his first attempt at this extreme race, he had to pull out before the final checkpoint due to exhaustion.

Pic credit: 6633 Arctic Ultra.

Roddy, of Inverness, said: “The race was 350 brutal miles in very cold conditions. It was -40 with additional windchill on some days.

“After last year I had unfinished business to take care of and now that’s been done. I was a lot wiser this year and I felt I finished strongly.

“I was very pleased to pace the race perfectly but I admit I was shocked to finish in under seven days especially as the conditions were tougher and colder this year

“I am delighted to be the first Scotsman to have ever finished the race as well as gaining a cheeky second place overall.”

Pic credit: 6633 Arctic Ultra.

The 6633 Arctic Ultra 2017 was the ninth edition of the event. As well as the 350-mile event there is 120-mile race.

It’s a non-stop race and competitors must carry all their own supplies, including food, cooking items, clothing, sleeping kit and other safety gear.

Roddy pulled a sledge weighing up to 30kg from the race start at Eagle Plains, Yukon, to the banks of the Arctic Ocean at Tuktoyaktuk.

For the final section of the race, from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk, racers travel on an ice road.

Yet Roddy confesses he doesn’t like camping or the cold. He told CBC News in Canada: “I must be an absolute idiot to do something like this.

“But I do it for a reason and it’s to raise awareness for Type 1 diabetes. I want to show to others what can be achieved with Type 1 diabetes.

“If doing this proves to youngsters that it doesn’t stop them from achieving goals in their life, then it’s a job well done.”

Pic credit: 6633 Arctic Ultra.

Find out more about Roddy Riddle.

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