On the 27th January, when the good folk of Banbury will be sitting down to their Sunday roasts, local vet John Taylor of Mansion Hill Veterinary Practice, Middleton Cheney, will be competing in UK’s most extreme adventure race – the Tough Guy Challenge. 10 country miles of mud and SAS style obstacles stand between him and the £750 pledged so far for selected charities.
“This is my first time competing in the race – and I’m prepared for the worst – Tough Guy is just that – tough!” says John. “I’ve heard that they don’t just have one St John’s Ambulance crew to deal with the injured – they have a whole fleet!”
It’s thought, however, that this vet may have an advantage over most newcomers to the race. In a previous life John was a Captain in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, so when not putting the Force’s dogs and horses back together, punishing training, barbed wire scrambles and under-water tunnels were all part of everyday life.
“No no,” disagrees John, “this could be much more masochistic than anything I’ve come across in the Army – I’ve heard some of the obstacles are electrified, and another gives entrants the option of running through burning straw bales, or through a cesspit!”
As well as caring for his four-legged patients, John has been working hard on a gruelling training regime and also fundraising for local charity NANNA – Northamptonshire Animals in Need of Nurturing and Adoption. “NANNA is the local charity our Practice has chosen to support, not only for this challenge, but we also provide veterinary care for some of the animals under their charge on an ongoing basis,” explains John. “Half the money raised will go to NANNA and the other half to the charity nominated by race organisers – a retired horse sanctuary. A big thanks goes to everyone who has kindly pledged their support.”
“I will be pleased to get the challenge under my belt – I’m certainly looking forward to it, but making it over the finish line, and to the pub for a good Sunday Dinner will be a brilliant felling!”
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