Rachel tackles Tough Mudder in memory of her blind veteran grandfather.
25 August 2016 14:09
Rachel, from Bristol, conquered a 10 mile obstacle course last Sunday in memory of her grandfather to raise money for our charity.
Rachel Pitt, 24 and from Stoke Gifford, wanted to raise money for Blind Veterans UK, as it supported her grandfather Duncan for nine years, whilst challenging herself at the same time. So far she’s raised an incredible £700.
She says: “My grandad passed away just before Christmas and I felt it seemed incredibly appropriate to not only physically and mentally challenge myself by completing this, but to also complete it in his memory, raising money for a charity that helped support him and encouraged him to remain independent.
“My grandad was the most amazing man - he always wanted to know everything and learn, and he always wanted to be kept up to date with everything that I was doing.”
When Duncan Hartley was registered severely vision-impaired, Blind Veterans UK stepped in to support him to live independently with sight loss. He went on holidays to the charity’s centres and attended his local reunion lunches with the charity.
“Blind Veterans UK gave him the support and confidence for him to believe he could still keep his independence, and that he was able to 'have a go' when it came to learning new skills, without relying solely on family and friends to assist and help him to get to where he wanted to be.
“They helped my grandad learn to use a computer and to touch type, which meant when I graduated from Uni he was able to watch the live stream of the event. Even though he was physically unable to be there, knowing he saw me graduate meant the world to me.”
Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile obstacle course, with 20+ world class obstacles, 40 tonnes of ice, and unsurprisingly 500,000 litres of mud.
She says: “I don't like running and I really don't like getting muddy, but my view was that if I wanted to do something for charity, it needed to be something that would push me out of me comfort zone.”
Before signing up for the event, Rachel hadn’t run more than 5k. Taking the challenge seriously, she made sure she trained hard and was well prepared for the day. Though that didn’t stop the nerves.
She says: “Before the event I was unbelievably nervous although as the days got closer I did get more excited.”
Rachel conquered obstacles such as swimming through muddy ice water, crawling through a tunnel with weighted barriers and scaling a 10 feet slanted wall.
“It was the hardest physical challenge I have ever put myself through. Afterwards I was exhausted, bruised and battered. I am immensely relieved and overwhelmingly proud of myself for pushing through my fears and for not giving up when things got difficult.”
On raising £700, Rachel says: “I feel that it was my turn to help Blind Veterans UK provide another family with the opportunities for lives to be changed and memories to be made, in the same way they did for us.”
To support Rachel for taking on Tough Mudder in aid of Blind Veterans UK, please visit justgiving.com/RLP92