Oliver Sinclair is on a 400-mile Arctic skiing race

By Candice Krieger, April 14, 2011

This is Oliver Sinclair. He is currently attempting to ski more than 400 miles across the Canadian Arctic to the Magnetic North Pole. Why? To raise over £100,000 as part of this year's Polar Challenge - an extreme endurance race lasting up to 21 days. The challenge is completed entirely by Nordic cross-country skiing.

Thirty-two year-old Mr Sinclair and his team-of-three, Team Arktix, expect to average between 20 and 24 hours of skiing between sleeps.

An operations analyst at Apax Partners, Mr Sinclair is no stranger to tough challenges having completed more than 40 marathons, a 55-mile ultra marathon and climbed several volcanoes. But this, he says, is by far his biggest yet.

He tells People: "Temperatures and wind are the biggest threats to our safety. Minus 40 degrees centigrade is not uncommon. Frostbite can set in in a matter of minutes if flesh is accidentally left exposed. Sweating must be avoided at all costs due to the risk of hypothermernia." Team Arktix are raising funds for Global Action Plan, a charity which works with a range of organisations to educate about sustainability.

They started the race on Sunday and Mr Sinclair, who lives in Putney, south London, says it can take anywhere between the record of nine days, 11 hours and 55 minutes, and the limit of 21 days.

What do his family and friends think about what he's doing? "Some think it is crazy, others are jealous but most agree it is inspirational and are very supportive."

Mr Sinclair had previously been undertaking an intense training regime that included a week of training in Norway where they were taught the basics of Nordic skiing and arctic survival. "This culminated in having to jump through a hole in the surface of a frozen lake to practice self rescue and recovery in -25 degrees centigrade." Rather him than me.


Last updated: 12:00pm, April 14 2011