11 Apr 2015

First Aborigine in race to North Pole

8:37 pm on 11 April 2015

A marathon race to the North Pole is under way, with one of the competitors the first Indigenous Australian to compete.

Adrian Dodson-Shaw is among 45 athletes flown to the running circuit, which is surrounded by snipers to protect the athletes from polar bears.

The running surface is a mixture of slippery hard ice and knee-deep snow.

The 31-year-old from Western Australia only began serious running a year ago, and has since lost 18 kilograms and given up alcohol to set an example for other Aborigines.

"I came from a binge drinking culture, where alcohol - you get caught up in circles like that. But I just realised you can kind of get out of them circles and, you know, if you want to be different, be different.

"You don't have to always follow, you know. You can be an individual and put your best forward."

Mr Dodson-Shaw is now headed for the finishing line at the North Pole.