Martial arts enthusiast to follow in footsteps of Prince Harry on Arctic trek

A MARTIAL arts enthusiast from High Roding has begun training for a gruelling expedition to the Arctic Circle.

Dave Sissens, 37, has been dragging car tyres around Great Dunmow and carrying a rucksack of bricks up flights of stairs at work to help prepare his body for the punishing conditions.

A keen marathon runner and rugby player, Mr Sissens took part in the London Marathon in 2010 and raised �2,000 for Children with Leukaemia, a year after he was forced to pull out of the event due to ill health.

Now for his next challenge he is planning to walk 150km to the North Pole in temperatures of up to -40?C alongside one of the world’s most recognised polar explorers, B�rge Ousland, next April.

Mr Sissens said the expedition is very similar to the one done by Harry’s Arctic Heroes, a BBC documentary aired in September featuring Prince Harry and four wounded British serviceman.

“Like in the TV programme, the Russian government will build a runway and ice base about 89 degrees north, known as Camp Barneo, which is where I’ll be flown into,” said Mr Sissens. “From there, I’ll walk north with the rest of the expedition and hope to arrive at the North Pole in between eight and 22 days.

“It’s difficult to say exactly how long it will take because of the risk of blizzards and the chance that with the ice floe moving at about 3mph in different directions we may wake up from camp having drifted further back.”

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Having paid in excess of �20,000 to take part in the expedition, Mr Sissens is hoping to gain sponsorship from local people and businesses, with donations going to the charity Children with Cancer.

He has raised �3,600 so far and has also received support from two businesses in Dunmow.

Jacks Outdoor Wear has kitted him out for his expedition while HPEMS provided his sled and harness.

The Broadcast will be following Mr Sissens throughout his training, building up to a trek across a Norwegian glacier in February as preparation for the big event.

He is training 10 times a week to get into shape but has temporarily had to give up martial arts and rugby because of the risk of injury.

To support Mr Sissens’ expedition and to help him reach his �10,000 target for Children with Cancer, visit

He will also be blogging about his training for the expedition at