WAIST-DEEP mud, 10,000 volts of electricity and containers full of ice-cold water were just some of the gruelling obstacles that faced a dedicated group of pals.
Twelve miles of climbing, swinging, dodging and battling the elements greeted the lads who completed Tough Mudder, a course designed by the Special Forces to test strength, stamina, determination and camaraderie.
Leading the way was brave Andrew Hyde, 31, who just 12 months ago was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Joining him was Olympic physio Martin Davies, and Craig Rudd, who both live in Hartlepool, Craig’s brother Graham who now lives in London, Jeff Graham who lives in Darlington and Andrew Houlesworth, who lives in Bolton,
And there was a method to their madness, more than £2,000 which the lads raised for Bowel Cancer UK, Macmillan Nurses and Hartlepool-based charity the Denise Taylor Trust.
It isn’t the first time the lads have took on a gruelling charity challenge, just 12 months ago they completed a challenging coast-to-coast ride. But Martin, 33, who runs Active Physio Care in Hartlepool’s Victoria Road said Tough Mudder, in Chester, was a completely different ball-game.
“We had done quite a bit of training especially up and down the sand dunes at Seaton, but you can’t prepare for wading through mud which is waist-deep,” said Martin, who lives in Bishop Cuthbert with wife Abby, 33, and their two children Isobelle, three, and 13-week-old Joseph.
“We knew there was the electric fences, but we had no idea they were going to be as strong as they were.
“It was horrific, absolute agony. You had to get dragged over 12ft walls, balance along 50ft logs and use monkey bars which were covered in mud.
“All the lads enjoyed it, but it’s completely different to anything else.”
The team all completed the event and eclipsed Andrew and the lads’ target of reaching £1,500.
Fortunately the signs look good for Andrew, who works at Camerons Brewery and lives in the Elwick Road area of town with wife, Emma, 31, and their three-year-old son Jacob, after months of surgery and chemotherapy.
And just days after completing the gruelling challenge the pals already have their eyes on an event next year – which looks even more daunting.
Martin added: “We think we are going to do the Rat Race dirty weekend which is 20 miles long and has 200 obstacles. I don’t know how we will start preparing for that.”