Ex-Serviceman Gavin Clark is taking on the gruelling Yukon Artic ultra-challenge to help raise money for military charity Blesma, the Limbless Veterans…

Gavin, 42, from Gosport, Hampshire, has decided to take on the 100-mile race in temperatures that drop below -50c with New Zealander Richard Charles. Gavin and Richard will also battle through snow, ice and wilderness whilst pulling a sledge which will carry kit such as a tent, food, cooking gear and clothing.

Gavin’s first experience of the artic ultra-challenge was in 2016 when he went along as part of a medical support team and where he first met Richard. Last year was the first time Gavin took in the challenge as a competitor, but unfortunately had to pull out when his toes and thumb became affected by frostbite. Many competitors do not even finish the race because of the weather conditions.

Gavin, who works in a GP Surgery said: “Last year, I was in second place and focused on catching up with the guy in first place. This year the aim is to enjoy the challenge and finish, rather than focusing on a good finishing position. I’ll also have Richard, so we can support each other.”

Gavin was discharged from the Royal Navy six years ago due multiple traumatic injuries. Gavin suffers from non-freezing cold injury to both his feet and lack of sensation to his right hand with an amputation of two fingers (one sewn back on) which also means he has to be extra careful of frostbite in the temperatures. With his experience of serving in the Military and injuries, Blesma seemed an obvious choice for Gavin.

“I’m feeling a little bit anxious due to what happened last year. I’m hoping that the weather is more friendly this year.”

The Yukon Artic ultra-challenge starts on 1st February 2018. If you would like to support Gavin and Blesma please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gavin-clark6 or text GAVC55 and the amount to 70070.