© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2019

Cold didn't stop Canterbury man from finishing marathon

Emme McKay
Arctic Circle
View of finish line 6633 Arctic Ultra Facebook

An Ashburton farmer has come third in one of the toughest and coldest footraces in the world.


Ashburton local Greg Roadley was one of 18 people who competed in the 6633 Arctic Ultra Footrace, which ran from the 10th to the 18th of March.

The race was 566km and crossed the Arctic Circle before  finishing at the Arctic Ocean. 

It took place over eight days and temperatures got as cold as -36 degrees. 

The race required competitors to be self-sufficient and carry food, bedding and shelter on a sled. 

Greg Roadley said to finish the race in eight days you had to walk 70-80 kilometres a day which was a grueling task.

He got 3 hours of sleep a night which were spent sleeping in ice on the side of the road. 

"The hardest part of the race was dealing with the extreme cold when you're sleep deprived. You had to be careful that you didn't expose anything or become hurt." 

Roadley trained by attaching a tyre to a harness and dragging it around his farm and the Mount Hutt Ski Field road. 

When he finished the race, Roadley felt shattered and exhausted but also happy he was the first Kiwi to ever finish the race. 

greg at finish line
Greg at the finish line 6633 Arctic Ultra Facebook

Of the 18 people competing, only seven people made it to the finish line.

The others dropped out after the first day because they could not deal with the exhaustion and cold. 

Roadley was now relaxing and would have a few beers with the other competitors tonight, before heading to Mexico to defrost for a week. 

Below is audio of Greg Roadley's reaction of finishing the race.