SIX cricketers took on a challenge described as “the safest most dangerous event in the world” to raise money to move a village cricket pitch.
Horatio Cary, his brother Alfred and four friends participated in Tough Guy, a 12-mile muddy obstacle course event held near Wolverhampton.
They raised £5,000, which will go towards Harpsden Cricket Club’s £160,000 appeal to re-lay its pitch.
Mr Cary, 25, said: “Tough Guy is described by its creator Billy Wilson, a retired Grenadier guard, as a 12-mile hardcore obstacle course, although a cruel form of torture is how I would describe it.”
The challenges included running along narrow paths lined with 7ft high nettles, crawling under barbed wire, running through fire, wading through rivers and avoiding high voltage electric wires hanging from beams. Mr Cary wore rugby socks to protect his legs but these filled up with mud when he had to wade through a series of trenches filled with water.
After about three miles, the men had to negotiate a slalom on a steep hill, which involved running up and down it 10 times.
Mr Cary said: “That was absolutely exhausting and one of the hardest challenges. The rest of the course was very difficult after that.
“After this there was lots of running, seemingly endless cargo nets to clamber under, more hay bales and fences to scale, rivers and lakes to wade through and lots of nettles to avoid.”
Zac Jones, 18, who plays for Henley Cricket Club, said: “I found it pretty tough but I am fit from playing a lot of sport so that took me through it. It was good fun and I would maybe do it again if I was even fitter, although only if it was raising money for charity — never of my own free will!”
The cricket pitch is currently being levelled before the grass is sown and the pitch should be ready to use next season.
The project is being funded by fund-raising activities, donations and grants.
Mr Cary said the pitch needed to be moved because batsmen were hitting the ball further.
“Henley Golf Club’s car park is at the other side of the road and the risk of people getting hit has increased so we’re trying to make the whole area safer.”
The other participants were Adam Birkett, Sasha Burgess and Toby Stevens, who are all members of Harpsden Cricket Club.