Lapland Wilderness Challenge

  • Finland (FIN)
  • Off-Road Running
  • Navigation
  • Open Water Swimming

The Start Of An Epic Finnish Challenge - 5 days in the Lapland Wilderness

Adam Rose / 01.08.2020See All Event Posts Follow Event
/ © Press Release

The first edition of the Lapland Wilderness Challenge kicked off at midday today, in northern Finland, in the Kaldoaivi and Vätsäri areas. Normally a region associated with families living out their reindeer fantasies at Christmas, this event is fortunately taking place in kinder conditions, and features a host of mostly Scandinavian teams. 104 people spread across 42 teams registered for the race, but only 81 people from 33 teams have managed to cross the start line (Finnish and 1 Latvian), thanks to the global pandemic. The few Russian and single British teams are going to have to wait for the next edition. 

There are 3 categories of team, male, female and mixed, ranging from 2 to 5 people each, off on a serious adventure, spending up to 5 days in total wilderness, navigating open fells, sparse forests and wet swamps. They have 120 hours to clear the 500km linear course, with slower teams only expected to get halfway by the time the fastest teams finish. Note that there is an extra 6hrs leeway, but any team finishing within that period will be penalised. Anything later is a DQ.

There's a single store to replenish supplies at roughly halfway, requiring a healthy 10km detour, so presumably most teams will be avoiding that hiccup. There is no transition area, as this is a single discipline. The longest distance between CPs is 66km, as the crow flies...

There are curious rules due to the remoteness of the course. For example, nothing is permitted to be dropped or cached on the course prior to the race, but during the event, if teams intend to return to the same location at a later point in the race, teams may cache items at their own risk, providing they retrieve all items before completion of the race and nothing is left on the course. 

Packrafts look like an obvious option considering all the water, but the RD said they weren't useful, as there aren't many rivers, though many lakes. Would you take the weight hit to try get an advantage? The Näätämönjoki and the Kallojoki rivers may only be crossed via bridges, while all other rivers are freely crossable. 

Strong team 36 Marsut reckon swimming a shortcut, regardless of day or night, will be worthwhile suffering, even if it only saves them 20 minutes. They've already taken a dip, one of only 2 teams to do so en route from CP3 to CP4, and are currently in 3rd place. They aim to be on the move for 19hrs a day, saying stopping for anything longer than 4hrs is a waste of time. 

Brown bears and mosquitos seem to the main fauna to be prepared for, but apparently them bears are of the shy type. Mosquitos should not be underestimated, nor the local gadfly. 

Tracking is excellent as usual for a Scandinavian race, though a little complicated thanks to the remote region. The eastern areas are visible at the link shown here: and the western part can be tracked via:

The race website can be found at

See All Stories On This Race

PayPal Limited Edition SleepMonsters BUFF Patreon SleepMonsters Newsletter SleepMonsters Calendar SignUp

Our Patrons

Rootstock Racing

AR World Series

SleepMonsters Patreon

Thank you to all our

adventure racing


AR World Series

Rootstock Racing

-- -- --

Adventure Race Croatia

Adventure Race Georgia

Brian Gatens

Chris Dixon

-- -- --

Adventure Enablers

Ajita Madan

Chipp Dodd

Celia Nash

David Ellis

Erik Sanders

Graham Bird

Jakub Malik

Josh Hayman

Liam St Pierre

Magnus Foss

Marijn Edelenbosch

Nicola MacLeod

Possum Jump Adventures

Robert Rulison

Strong Machine AR

Your Adventure Maps

-- -- --

Adrian Crane

Barbara Campbell

Dejna Odvody

Ivan Park

Klaus Mygind

Lars Bukkehave

Marco Ponteri

Maria Leijerstam

Nigel Davison

Rob Horton

Semyon Yakimov