Tough Mudder

My nan (Sheila Spittle) was an amazing woman. Her strength, determination and outlook on life was inspirational. She was an active lady who enjoyed arts and crafts (made all of her own lovely cards), going to the theatre and spending time with family and friends. One day her legs gave way and she was taken to hospital. The hospital said she had gall stones but there was something else that needed to be looked into before they could treat them. Her condition deteriorated and she was taken into intensive care where she was diagnosed with GBS. None of us had ever heard of it before and we were left confused and in shock. Although her condition didn’t seem to be improving, the doctor told us not to expect that she would die from this and that everything was treatable. However, later that day, 12 August 2014 Nan’s condition rapidly deteriorated and she had a cardiac arrest. There was nothing more they could do for her so it was decided that the machines be turned off and she passed peacefully with her family around her. I’m not a huge fan of running but when I saw Tough Mudder, I immediately wanted to take part and completed my first one in 2014 which was whilst Nan was in ICU. When I was there, covered in mud and aching, I was amazed by it all and pledged to do at least one more. My nan was so proud of me for completing it (but also thought I was crazy for doing it) which spurred me on to take part in 2015 event (I said she’d have to come and do the next event with me and she laughed. She said don’t worry, I’ll be there”.) I did volunteer this year and will be taking part again in 2016. The determination and strength required to complete Tough Mudder is linked with Help for Heroes, well Nan will always be my hero. So running in memory of her, I take part in Tough Mudder to raise funds and awareness for GAIN. I hope that by doing this, more awareness will be out there so that nobody has to have the confusion that we had when Nan was diagnosed. Tough Mudder is a team- orientated 10-12 mile (18-20 km) obstacle course designed to test physical strength and mental grit. The obstacles are designed by British Special Forces. Tough Mudder puts camaraderie over finisher rankings and is not a timed race but a team challenge that allows participants to experience exhilarating, yet safe, world class obstacles they won’t anywhere else.

Dan Sutton

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