Businessman to face Arctic wolves during gruelling 300-mile race

Neil Thubron is taking on a tough Arctic challenge.
Neil Thubron is taking on a tough Arctic challenge.

A businessman who organises endurance events for others will take on his toughest challenge yet - a 300-mile race in the Arctic Circle where he will bear temperatures as low as -60 degrees C and the perils of Arctic wolves.

The Yukon Arctic Ultra - starting on Sunday - is considered to be the world’s coldest and toughest ultra race, which sees competitors battle extreme conditions for 16 to 24 hours a day while pulling a 20kg sledge containing everything they need to survive.

Only 60 to 70 per cent of participants complete the race and many risk hypothermia and frostbite.

Neil Thubron, 49, who runs a business that organises endurance events, is taking on the challenge to support good cause Humanity Direct, which funds medical operations for children in developing countries. A dad himself, Neil, aims to raise £3,000 to pay for two operations that will restore the hearing of five year old Grace from Uganda.

Neil, who has participated in other extreme sporting events including the Marathon des Sables, the Ultra Trail De Mont Blanc and the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon in South Africa, said: “This is by far my biggest challenge yet and it’s also my most dangerous. It’ll take between six to eight days to complete the race. During that time I’ll be trekking through woods where wolves and moose roam but the most dangerous thing is the ‘overflow’ - a layer of water underneath the snow or a layer of water over ice, which makes it easy to fall.

“Trekking in the wilderness in the middle of the night will also be quite daunting.”

Neil, from St Leonards, near Tring, is part of a team that runs NRG Extreme Energy, which puts on endurance events and has the tag line ‘Live life with Extreme Energy’.

Humanity Direct is the first of its kind in the UK with donors able to find a patient whose operation they can fund with every penny donated spent on that person’s surgery.

Neil said: “I didn’t want to take on this massive challenge without making it mean something, not just for me but for someone else. I’ve decided to raise money for Grace as funding an operation to help her hear will give her the chance to get a good education, vital in securing her a bright future.”

To help raise the money Neil, who is also a motivational speaker, is offering talks at business meetings about his journey and how to apply those experiences to professional and every day life.

To donate towards Grace’s surgeries click here and follow @HumanityDirect on Twitter.