From ambition to achievement: Tiberiu Ușeriu's victory in the 2018 Arctic Ultra Marathon
Photo copyright by 6633 Arctic Ultra
In this article, we focus on Romanian’s opinions towards the 6633 Arctic Ultra. The research consisted of an online survey conducted on our platform, questia.ro, which was active between March 20th and March 21st 2018. The survey covered 500 respondents, with a +/- 4% margin of error when reported to the Romanian online population.
The 2018 6633 Arctic Ultra Marathon was won for the third time in a row by the Romanian participant Tiberiu Ușeriu. According to the official results, Tony Ellis came in second while Mark Strathern arrived in third.
The Ultra Marathon has been taking place since 2007 in Canada, in the Arctic Circle area, and is regarded as the toughest marathon in the world.
The challenge consisted of crossing a distance of 350 miles (over 560 km) by foot, near the Arctic Circle. The 10th edition of the marathon was an anniversary one and the organizers prepared a new route, which was longer by 35 miles (57 km) and also harder than the previous ones. The 2018 route also included 280 km on the Ice Road, a frozen river, where the temperatures are extreme.
There were 32 participants on the race, out of which 23 in the race of 350+ miles but after the first day of the competition, eight participants dropped due to health issues and extreme temperatures near the North Pole.
In 2017, a number of 24 contestants enrolled in the 3 sections of the competition: 120 miles (193 km), plus 120 miles (plus 193 km) and 350 miles (563 km), the latter being won by Tiberiu Ușeriu out of 17 other contestants. In 2016, Tiberiu managed to win after crossing, in only one week, 351 miles (566 km) on an icy terrain, being exposed to extreme temperatures. His third consecutive victory allowed Tiberiu to surpass his former record by crossing 383 miles (617 km), with 35 miles (57 km) more than in 2017.
According to Business Review, Tiberiu was greeted by over 100 people at his arrival at the International Airport “Avram Iancu” in Cluj. He also mentioned that he considers taking a break from this competition: “I think I will take a break from the competition, but I’m not sure, because you never know. […] I had this experience three times, I already know how it’s like there […]”. He also mentioned that he was surprised by the warm weather from the North Pole, with temperatures of -15 degrees compared with the last year’s -32 degrees.
Below, we present some data to shed some light on Romanian’s perceptions of 6633 Arctic Ultra.
The majority of the responders prefer watching sports events both on TV and online (47.7%) and on TV only (45.6%). A relatively low percentage follow these events only on the Internet (6.7%).
Even though Romania has 45 ski resorts, as Statista points out, Romanians prove to have not so much interest in winter sports, with only a little more than a quarter (28.7%) of respondents specifying they are seeking such sports.
The subject of the Arctic Ultramarathon, one of the harshest races in the world, is familiar to most of the users (69.0%).
Out of those who knew about the Arctic Ultra, most of them (88.1%) were also following the progress of Tiberiu Ușeriu during this marathon, so the correlation is quite high.
Ușeriu, aged 44, was the most supported athlete, with 88.7% of respondents hoping he will be the winner. The second favorite was Avram Iancu, but with a slightly lower base of fans (8.9%).
Avram Iancu, aged 41, managed crossing only 42 miles (68 km) due to a leg injury that forced him to abandon the competition. Polgar Levente (37 years old) and Florentina Iofcea (46 years old) abandoned the competition in the first night, due to an increased wind speed of 58 mph (94 kmh). Polgar is the first person with disabilities to be accepted at the Arctic Marathon, since he lost an arm in a train accident while he was 6.
Below is a picture with Tiberiu finishing the the 6633 Arctic Ultra on Thursday, March 15th 2018. According to Business Review, he led the race from the beginning until the end, despite having frostbites.
Watch this video to see Tiberiu crossing the finish line of the 2018 edition of the 6633 Arctic Ultra in 1st place, after seven days of the toughest marathon worldwide.
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