Grim Challenge Bested for St Raphael's Hospice

October 20, 2009 10:34 AM

Tom Brake's Grim ChallengeOn Saturday, Tom Brake, MP for Carshalton and Wallington, took on 376 other competitors at a muddy and waterlogged army training ground near Aldershot, in the aptly named 'Grim Challenge'.

Driven on by the pledges of funds for St Raphael's Hospice, Tom powered his way round a 30k course, complete with sections of camouflage netting, deep torrents of water and energy-zapping sand dunes.

An initial 5k run was followed by a gruelling 20k cycle, which, as well as long sections of gravel track, included steep and sandy hills and deep pools of freezing cold water.

"The terrain slowly took its toll on everyone's muscles. With a course that taxing, punctures and retirements were pretty commonplace" said Tom.

Tom emerged thoroughly drenched for the last part of the challenge, another 5k run, which tested his endurance after an hour in the saddle.

With muscles aching from the two earlier physical trials, he completed the final 5k run in just under 26 minutes, finishing in 78th place, in just over 1hour 51 minutes.

At the end of the Grim, Tom said, "The one thing that kept me going was my determination not to let down the people who were donating to St Raphael's Hospice. St Raphael's are a fantastic local charity and it was worth a little physical hardship to raise a four-figure sum for them."

"It was an exhausting, but thoroughly rewarding experience. The hours of training I've put in with local organisations like Sutton Runners and Pulse Gym in Wallington and local athletes like tennis player Giuseppe Delgado made a huge difference, and I'd like to thank everyone who helped me go out there and compete against Marines, athletes and even my own staff!"

Money can still be donated via

What would you like to do next?