TWO teenagers whose families have been affected by cancer are taking on an extreme physical challenge next year to raise money for charity.
Tough Guy is a 15km cross country endurance event, with army assault course obstacles in the way, including barbwire and electric fences.
About 5,000 people will descend on Wolverhampton on January 27 to test themselves against the fearsome course, including former Oakham School pupils Andrew Highfield, 18, and Tom Smith, 18, who are taking on the infamously tough endurance race to raise money for charities close to their hearts.
Tom, of Hanbury Gardens, Braunston, will be raising money for Sarcoma UK, the charity his mum has chosen to support after she was diagnosed with cancer a number of years ago.
Tom said: “After many operations, along with courses of chemo and radiotheraphy, she is still fighting strong as best she can.
“She has been an inspiration to me so I thought that doing this would be a great way to contribute back.
“All the money raised will go straight to Sarcoma UK and hopefully will help people never have to experience what she has had to.”
Andy, of Halstead Rise, Tilton-on-the-Hill, will be running, crawling and swimming around the Tough Guy course for his grandmother who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011. He will raise money for Cancer Research UK.
It was Andrew who suggested taking part after hearing about it from one of his teachers.
He said: “I was watching the 2011 London Marathon and I thought I want to do something like that but I am not a fan of running so I thought this would be an interesting challenge.”
“My aim was to train towards something very much out of my comfort zone.
“All the money I receive will go straight to Cancer Research UK.”
The two boys, who completed their A-levels at Oakaham School this year, have already started their training, working on upper body strength so they can drag themselves over the obstacle course but Tom’s preparation has been hampered by a broken wrist.
Neither boy has ever attempted a challenge quite like this before and they will have to prepare for the race miles apart as they are both moving on to new challenges in their own lives.
Andrew is off to Cardiff University to study business management and Tom has been selected for a seven-month scholarship to work for finance company Deloitte in Birmingham as a tax scholar.
Tom said: “Come November we are really going to have to step up the training to be ready.”
Both boys have set a themselves a target of raising £400 for their chosen charities, to support them in their fundraising efforts visit www.justgiving.com/teams/oakhamtoughguys