Three intrepid adventurers are embarking on one of the world's most gruelling challenges - a 320-mile race across the Arctic.

Ian Wilson and Bill Norton, both from Birmingham, and Sharyn Brown, from Windsor, have flown out to Canada to prepare for the charity challenge which will see them battling -50C temperatures, changing ice flows and polar bears.

The dedicated trio only decided to take on the incredible event a year ago when Ms Brown and Mr Wilson, who both work as project managers for the same firm, decided to tackle the adventure of a lifetime before they became tied to the corporate ladder.

The Polar Challenge is a 320-mile competitive race in the Arctic involving 16 teams as they battle to reach the 1996 location of the Magnetic North Pole.

Each team competes in groups of three and after scooping the support of electronics manufacturer Pioneer, the trio will enter the contest as the Pioneer PolarKAT team.

During the event, which could take as long as 20 days to complete, each member of the team will have to haul sledges heavier than their own body weight across the frozen Arctic Ocean.

In the run up to the event they will spend six days in training in Canada before trekking 60-miles to the start of the race.

The squad is also hoping to raise a minimum of £5,000 for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children from the challenge.

Ms Brown said: "Both Ian and I are project managers at the same firm and both of us were feeling bogged down in the corporate system so we decided to do something amazing while we still can.

"Ian said he had always wanted to visit the Arctic and it just spiralled from there.

"We have been training for a year to prepare ourselves both physically and mentally and its been a long journey getting ourselves this far.

"However, I think the hardest part of the journey is just about to begin."

Ms Brown explained that, during the polar challenge, the three adventurers will have to walk in a single line dragging their sledges between 15 and 20 hours a day.

She said: "Despite there being three of us I think one of the hardest parts of the challenge will be coping with the solitude and isolation.

"However we've had a rousing send off and we'll have that to look back on and I'm sure we'll all be looking forward to the welcome back home by the end of the challenge," she added.

Heidi Johnson-Cash, general manager of marketing at Pioneer, said, "We are immensely honoured to be supporting these incredibly brave, tenacious, spirited people."