TEAM ROB COMPLETE “TOUGH MUDDER” – 23rd AUGUST 2015
GUEST BLOG – MIKE CAMM
What an achievement and a totally awesome day as Team Rob completed Tough Mudder in the most appalling weather conditions. They were supported all the way around the course by fellow participants, Tough Mudder volunteers and a loyal band of cheerleaders made up of family and friends. Watch the video of the team in action!
The team convoy arrived at Cirencester Park in pleasant weather to assemble for the start.
Wearing pristine white t-shirts promoting Cammpaign4Rob and SpecialEffect the team signed in and made their way to the warm up area before moving nervously to the starting pen. Team Rob were then introduced to the rest of the starting group to spontaneous cheering and applause before a few minutes of motivational chanting, committing to the Tough Mudder charter and then the final countdown to the off. Rob’s start was reminiscent of Lewis Hamilton as he led his team off on the 12 mile adventure. Within 5 minutes the heavens opened; a quick stop to put on Rob’s waterproofs and on the team powered. For the next 5 hours Team Rob were as unrelenting as the rain as they tackled the course.
The puddles got deeper, the mud thicker, the tracks, fields, drops and hills ever more slippery so that staying upright was a challenge in itself. Rob’s mastery of his X8 chair was fantastic to see and he covered much of the ground easier than the Tough Mudder support vehicles and certainly made light work of “carrying” 2 of his team through the Hero Carry obstacle.
The teamwork was immense as they completed every obstacle, each of which seemed to get higher, colder, deeper and even more muddy the more the rain fell. Eventually even the rain bowed down to the team’s efforts and went away as they approached the last 2 obstacles. With obstacle 21 Everest 2.0 conquered, the team gathered themselves for the final challenge – Electroshock Therapy – a mad dash through 10,000 volts and Rob was able to lead his team over the finish line to unanimous applause.
Like any world first the TV cameras were on hand and ITV immediately thrust the microphone towards Rob and Ian for their assessment of the day – “Awesome, brilliant and great fun”. The story was a lead on Monday’s ITV West Country news and covered by BBC Points West, Radio Gloucestershire and most of the national press.
Interviews complete, team photos taken and proudly wearing their orange Tough Mudder finisher headbands it was time to adjourn to the carpark for refreshments – with the sun now out Pimms, cold beer and rolls were most welcome as the enormity of what the team and Rob in particular had achieved sank in.
A quick hose down of Rob’s chair and time to depart to freshen up before reconvening at Ian and Gill’s home to celebrate the achievement, look at the various videos and photos and of course plan the next challenge! There are plenty more photos to see Here.
A big thank you to:
– Tough Mudder and in particular John Fidoe who had arranged and drove the support vehicle with Rob’s back up kit and generator to recharge his battery on the course
– The Helping Hand Company for providing Rob with a deeper, more comfortable Starlock cushion for his chair
– Kate and Dave Merrett for providing not only the team t-shirts but also, along with Rob’s Mum Gill, the food and drinks in the carpark afterwards
– All Team Rob supporters on the day, the messages of support and everyone donating for their most generous sponsorship of the Rob and the Team in aid of Special Effect. Along with the sponsorship raised at Gatcombe and including Gift Aid just over £9,000 has already been raised to help others who may, unfortunately, in the future require and then benefit from the wonderful support Rob received – if you still would like to support Team Rob and Special Effect you can do so on Rob’s Just Giving Page
– The national media for promoting Rob’s story and achievements which will hopefully inspire others to believe in the possible even in the most tragic and traumatic circumstances.
– Team Rob (Rob, Dad Ian, cousin Simon and friends Tomos Wyn-Jones, Rob Telford, Ian Telford, Liam Kearns, Chris Wright, Simon James, Helen James, Tim Hirst, Jess Merrett, Rich Ponting, Stewart Everett, Alex Shipp and Rob’s carers on the day Cathy and Kevin who followed the team every step of the way.