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Intrepid Asda Elgin boss builds up endurance for Arctic trek to boost Highland Hospice

By Lorna Thompson

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AN INTREPID Elgin supermarket deputy manager will test his endurance during an Arctic trek next year to raise cash for the Inverness-based Highland Hospice.

Asda Elgin deputy manager David Philips (37) will tackle the Lapland Husky Trail in March next year, sledding the 270km from Tromsø, in Norway, to the famous Icehotel Jukkasjärvi, in Sweden.

He will be joined by friends Christopher Andrew (36) and Francesca Marchetti (31). All three live in Inverness and are members of Highland Martial Arts.

The adventurous trio hope to raise a minimum of £16,000 for the hospice, a charity close to David's heart, which provides specialist care and support to terminally ill patients and their families.

The three are following a strict training regime to ensure they are ready to face the physical and mental rigours of the challenge, which takes place entirely within the wild landscape of the Arctic Circle.

The team will aim to hit daily targets, set up camps and look after their sled dogs in sub-zero temperatures which can reach as low as -30 degrees Celsius.

They aim to complete the trek within a week.

Although they will be accompanied by guides throughout the journey, the three will look after the huskies themselves and set up their own camps.

Asda Elgin deputy manager David Philips.
Asda Elgin deputy manager David Philips.

David, who has worked at Asda Elgin for eight years, said: "We're all training to a schedule just now – a lot around strength training and cardio training as well, and we'll slowly but surely build on that as we go towards next March.

"The fitness level obviously needs to be high. You're on the sledge, off the sledge, running behind and pushing, etc. And the conditions can be hard on the system.

"I took part in a challenge for the hospice a couple of years ago where we rowed down the whole of the Great Glen, so this new challenge came off the back of that. Myself and Francesca rowed in a kayak from Fort William back to Inverness over three days. That's the closest endurance test we've done."

He added: "I've had a few family members who've been in the hospice and they do a fantastic job. They do a great deal of good work and that is what inspired me to help them.

"Our fundraising target is £16,000 – but we want to blow that out of the water.

"The trek itself will also be a great life experience for us all and we are all looking forward to it. It will be tough, but I am the sort of person who loves a challenge."

Kaye McLeod, Asda Elgin's community champion, said: "All our Asda Elgin colleagues are supporting David with his adventurous journey – they are such a brave bunch.

"It is such a fantastic fundraiser, and we wish him and his two friends all the best."

To donate to David's fundraising effort, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/david-philips1983.

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