A WEARSIDE adventurer is celebrating today after winning a place on the trip of a lifetime across the Arctic.
Phil Raisbeck, from Ryhope, will take on the gruelling Fjällräven Polar in a bid to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.
Using dog sleds, the IT consultant will follow a 180-mile route from Signaldalen in Norway to Jukkasjärvi in Sweden, crossing the Arctic tundra in temperatures plunging as low as minus 30°C.
Following an appeal for support in the Echo, the 42-year-old secured one of 30 places on the four-day trip next year, after winning a global online poll.
“I would just like to thank all my friends, family, colleagues and people of Sunderland for their votes,” he said.
“I finished first in the UK and 18th overall out of the 900-plus worldwide competitors.”
Phil is a registered fund-raiser for Cancer Research UK and has pledged to continue to help the charity, which he chose after two family members recently beat the illness.
“The support I’ve received from everyone has been unbelievable,” he said. “I never expected the interest and attention this generated.
“What started off with asking people to share a voting link on their Facebook page has led to radio interviews, newspaper articles, celebrity tweets from Kristina Rihanoff, from Strictly Come Dancing, and Alan Hinkes, the first Briton to climb the 14, 8,000 metre mountains. I’ve also been asked by Trek and Mountain magazine to write about my experience.
“But more importantly was getting the full support of Cancer Research UK and becoming a registered fundraiser for this and future adventures to help raise money and awareness for the charity.
“Thank you all so much.”