Ultra-Marathon tests runner

109-mile cross-country run above the Arctic Circle was an arduous endeavor

Posted

A runner with Chrisman ties completed what might be the toughest cross-country race on earth.

Jordan Reader, the son of Chrisman native Mark Reader, completed the Arctic Triple Lofoten Ultra-Trail marathon in late May, 2019.

The ultra-marathon consisted of 109 miles of strenuous trail running across Norway, ranging across the Lofoten islands to the country’s beaches to mountain paths.

After a backbreaking 25 hours and 24 minutes of running, Reader crossed the finish line first, besting 59 contestants from 22 countries to take the win.

Reader dominated the running field, finishing 56 minutes ahead of the runner-up.

“It was a very difficult event and the terrain and climate that we faced was tough,” Reader explained. “Something about it just caught my eye and I was excited for the challenge. All of the outside factors, though, are part of it and I would love to do something like this again.”

With 59 runners starting the race, the challenges presented to each contestant forced several to drop out of the race — some by choice and some by necessity.

Reader cited the weather as one of the biggest challenges for participants.

“We ran through freezing rain, hail and knee-deep pits of mud through the first portion of the run,” Reader said. “Through the second-half of the race we hit really heavy snow in the mountains and were actually rerouted around the area.”

The original route of 100 miles quickly became 109 miles as organizers of the race feared for the safety of the runners.

Despite his socks being soaking wet and running into the face of nearly 40 mile per hour gusts of freezing wind, Reader pushed on.

“The wind (after the rain) really took its toll on some people and a several of them dropped out due to shock or hypothermia,” Reader said. “Of the 59 people that started the race, only 13 of them were able to finish it.”

Despite the challenges that occurred along the way, Reader still secured a first-place finish and was able to bring a lifetime’s worth of memories back home with him.

Even after the 109-mile trek, he is sure he will take part in another ultra-marathon in the future.

“I would really like to run one of these again,” Reader said. “It takes a toll on your body, though, and my recovery is the important thing right now.”

Reader is the son of Mark and Gina Reader of Porterville, Calif. Dr. Mark Reader, a graduate of Chrisman High School, joined his son for the final 23 miles of the race.

Reader is the grandson of the late Dr. James and Marylou Reader of Chrisman. His grandmother still lives in Chrisman.

Reader is in the second month of his medical residency program in Corvallis, Ore.

After completing his medical degree in family medicine and hopes to incorporate ultra-running into his practice.

“I ran my first ultra-marathon in my second year of medical school and was hooked from the start,” Reader said. “This race in Norway was a lot more work and it was hard, but I loved it. Norway was so beautiful and I would absolutely go and run it again.”