A SOUTHPORT barman is competing in what organisers claim is “the world's most demanding one-day survival ordeal” to raise money for charity.
Rick Howells from Ainsdale will risk dehydration, hypothermia and broken bones in the hope of raising £1000 for Alder Hey Children's Hospital.
Taking place at the end of January, often in freezing winter conditions, the Tough Guy race is an eight mile cross-country assault course with obstacles.
Over the years those have included a 40-foot crawl through flooded tunnels, a half-mile wade through chest-deep muddy water and a crawl under 70 metres section of barbed wire.
Organisers warn running involves risking burns, electric shocks, sprains, twists, joint dislocation and broken bones.
In 1997, seven people broke their legs and, in 2001, 700 people developed hypothermia.
In 2007, a man died from a heart attack during the race and in 2000 another died in hospital from heart problems thought to have been brought on by hypothermia and exhaustion.
Runners must sign a disclaimer including the line: “I promise not to make any claim against the organisers for bone damage, bloodletting, bruising, amnesia, delirium, hypothermia, rigor mortis.”
Generally, a third of those taking part fail to finish.
Mr Howells said he is competing to challenge himself mentally and physically.
He said: “My general fitness is very good – I've done military training, I go to the gym three or four times a week, and I don't drink – but I need something to push me.”
Friends and family, he said, think he's “nuts”.
“But they know that when I've given myself a goal, I've got to do it,” he said. “I need goals and targets.”
Rick said he wanted to support Alder Hey because of the great work the hospital does for children.
He said: “We've got plenty of kids in the family and, God forbid anything happened, that's where we'd go.”
The event takes place in Wolverhampton on January 27. You can donate to rickhowells85 at www.justgiving.co.uk or text UOXV57 and an amount (eg UOXV57 £5) to 70070.