NOVA Entertainment’s Tim Hamlin conquers the world’s toughest and coldest foot race


Tim Hamlin, NOVA Entertainment’s Group Manager of Creative Services, has tackled one of the toughest ultra-marathons in the world, finishing in fourth place.

The brutal solo endurance challenge is a race to the top of the world and tests the body and mind, with very few able to finish the race.

The iconic 6633 Artic Ultra, regarded as the world’s toughest, windiest and coldest ultra-foot race, is a self-supported 617 km race through the frozen landscapes of the Canadian Arctic.

Starting at Eagle Plains in the Yukon and finishing at the First Nations hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk on the edge of the Arctic Ocean, the event takes place over nine days with only 20% of competitors able to finish the race.

This year, 21 people participated in the race with only four completing the race in the allocated time.

In 2007 Martin Like had a mad idea to create a race in one of the most beautiful and dangerous environments on the planet.

Since that time, Like – as Race Director – and his team have worked tirelessly to deliver an ever-evolving adventure for those brave enough to take it on.

The race is an expedition and is subject to the environment which means there isn’t one plan, or one route and the participant must be prepared to adapt to deal with the elements including avalanches, road closures, high winds, extreme temperatures, route and check point changes.

Tim Hamlin endured temperatures as low as minus 38 degrees and winds in excess of 150 km an hour.

He suffered what he describes as horrendous hallucinations and frostbite to his fingers, nose and ears, a reminder of one of his greatest physical achievements.

Tim initially attempted the 6633 Artic Ultra in 2017 but was forced to pull out of the race 150km from the finish line, suffering frost bite to his fingers and face, and with the knowledge that he was not going to finish in the allocated time. After failing in his first attempt, Tim wasn’t going to be beaten again, training for two years pulling tyres and a sled up to 20 hours at a time.

Asked if he was fully prepared this time around, Tim said “You can leave no stone unturned when training for this event, however when you race in minus 40 temperatures, one silly mistake could end your race. I’m very happy to finish it.”

No stranger to pushing his body to the limits, Tim has run marathons, the long course Ironman, the ‘Marathon Des Sables’ across the Sahara Desert and kayaked the Murray River but the Artic Ultra was by far the most challenging event he has ever finished.

Of conquering one toughest races in the world earlier this month, Tim says “A race like the 6633 is no normal ultra – it works its way deep into your soul and becomes part of your everyday thinking – so to complete it, I feel not only relieved but pride and satisfaction that I can now close the door on ‘unfinished business”.

With an impressive 30 years in the media industry across New Zealand and Australia, Tim has worked for NOVA Entertainment for the past 18 years with responsibility for writing, content direction, producing and team leadership within the network.

Photos credit: Evan Davies

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Hamish Denton
1 Apr 2023 - 8:31 am

Awesome job Tim, what a legend! I never would’ve picked it at Radio School 30 years ago!!


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