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Hilary swaps dogs for polar bears as she takes on Arctic challenge

SHE’S used to walking the dogs…but as she sets out on a major challenge in support of our patient care, Hilary Clinton is more likely to be sharing her route with anything from polar bears to wolves!

Professional dog walker Hilary is heading to the top of the world after signing up to compete in the punishing 6633 Arctic Ultra Challenge, the non-stop self-sufficient 380-mile foot race that will take her through the frozen landscape of the Canadian Arctic in what is billed as the world’s toughest, coldest, windiest event of its kind.

And she is aiming to raise £6,633 for St Luke’s, where cousin Roger Clinton, who lived in Crookes, was a patient as he faced the final stages of his fight against cancer last autumn.

Hilary, who was born in Beverley and is from a Sheffield family, lives near Inverness in Scotland so has at least been able to get in some training amid the snow of a Highland winter.

She has also previously completed the Yukon Challenge, another adventure that took her into the Arctic Circle.

When she sets off on her new adventure on February 23, though, she knows she will be facing temperatures of minus 27 degrees which, with a windchill factor of 15, will make it feel like a severe minus 50!

Throughout it all, she will be walking solo and be completely self-sufficient, pulling her limited supplies of food, tent and sleeping bag along with her on a pulk sled.

Hilary has just nine days to complete the challenge, which will coincide with what would have been Roger’s 57th birthday on February 26.

“I know that it is going to be very lonely - there are only 22 people taking part and we will all be moving at our own pace – and there is a chance I will see polar bears, lynx, wolves, moose, elk and caribou so you do have to be aware of what you are doing,” said Hilary.

“A lot of the challenge will depend on what Mother Nature decides to throw at you but it looks like at the minute they’re predicting the temperature dropping as low as minus 50.

“Everybody thinks it’s a matter of wrapping up warm but it’s more tricky than that because you don’t want to sweat too much.

“When you do sweat you can get into all sorts of trouble, especially if it freezes on you and causes hypothermia!

“Roger knew I was doing this race and was excited at the prospect of helping St Luke's, which took such wonderful care of him, as they continue to do for others with their dedicated work.

“Roger's mum Pat, his sister Leigh and her family, are also fully supportive and helping raise awareness of the challenge.”

Hilary is funding her participation in the challenge herself so every penny raised will go directly to St Luke’s.

She has already raised more than £1,000 and there’s still time to support her and St Luke’s by visiting Hilary

To find out more about the 6633 Arctic Ultra Challenge visit Challenge

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