Broome marathon runner Adrian Dodson-Shaw is set to become the first Indigenous Australian to set foot on the North Pole and tackle one of the of world's most gruelling challenges, the North Pole Marathon.
No stranger to overcoming obstacles, Mr Dodson-Shaw has given up drinking and lost 18 kilograms since beginning marathon training last year.
But he said this may be his greatest challenge yet.
"I'm excited and nervous at the same time. All these mixed emotions, but it's going be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I'm really looking forward to the challenge because it's going to be one of the biggest in my life."
Mr Dodson-Shaw, 31, said it is a buzz to create history and set a strong example for others
"I really feel proud to be the first Aboriginal man to go there and conquer the marathon, because I'm not just doing it for myself and friends and family, I'm also doing it for my people," Mr Dodson-Shaw said.
He was part of world champion marathon runner Robert de Castella's Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) 2014 squad, and completed the New York City Marathon with just six months of training.
"My life has completely changed since being part of IMP. Last year I was unfit, had been a heavy drinker since the age of 15, was unhealthy and not the role model I wanted to be for my family," Mr Dodson-Shaw said.
"Now, I'm a fit, healthy, non-drinker excited about the future and inspiring my children, family and community."
Born in Derby, Western Australia, Mr Dodson-Shaw's father is a Yawuru man from Broome and his mother is a part Kaytetye and Arrernte woman from Alice Springs.
"What we really want to do is show all Australians, and especially Indigenous Australians, that they have a capacity and a determination to do the incredible. And through that hopefully inspire other Indigenous people to get out there and have a go at life," Mr de Castella said.
"In a lot of ways the marathon is a metaphor for life and this is going to be really, really tough and life can be really hard, so you've got to be determined and you've got to be courageous and you've just got to keep putting one foot in front of the other until you get to the finish line."
Mr Dodson-Shaw selected for mental and physical strength
Mr De Castella said Mr Dodosn-Shaw was selected for the NPM because he is tough and had proved his mental and physical strength.
"The North Pole is situated in the Arctic Ocean, so there is no land. Effectively the participants are running on water," he said.
"A bulldozer is loaded onto a jet and flown to the start line to plough the starting area. Once the area is safe for competitors, they are flown in from a short distance away and the race is started," Mr de Castella said.
Training on the long expanse of white sand of Cable Beach is not as contradictory as it seems in preparing for the sub 30 degree temperatures of the North Pole.
Despite the hot and humid climate of Broome, it provides the closest conditions for training competitors' legs for ploughing through soft snow.
"This is probably the closest simulation, the hard sand, the soft sand, but in terms of the weather, obviously one extreme to the other. So I've prepared the best I can," he said.
However, Mr Dodson-Shaw has a fear of the cold.
"The cold's not really for me. I thought it was a joke when they said you're going to the North Pole, but to conquer your fears, that's what it's all about, and getting outside your comfort zone," he said.
Ultra marathon runner Greg Swan ran the North Pole Marathon in 2012 and said there is probably no way to prepare for the cold of the NPM.
"The chill on your body, if that gets to you, you can become almost hypothermic. So there really isn't a lot of preparation," Mr Swan said.
"I know some runners the year I did it trained on treadmills in cold fridge rooms, I actually didn't do anything that specific - and Adrian and the guys haven't done anything that specific - but you're putting yourself into unknown terrain.
"So you're pushing yourself and challenging yourself in probably unknown circumstances so you can't fully prepare for stuff like that sometimes."
But cold is not the only risk on the marathon's course, with polar bears inhabiting the region.
"The organisers position sharp-shooters around the course ... because polar bears are carnivorous and I assume at this time of year they are hungry," Mr de Castella said.
Mr Dodson-Shaw will complete the 42 kilometre ice and snow course alongside IMP supporter Jon Brand and will also be accompanied by Mr de Castella.
"It's going to come down to my mental strength. It's going to be hard to breathe, it's going to be cold, it's going to be boggy, running in the toughest conditions you can imagine," Mr Dodson-Shaw said.
"It's just extreme, everything about it is extreme, but at the same time it's a challenge."