AMA's Martyn Skipper proved he's a "Tough Guy"

The AMA's Martyn Skipper proved he's a "Tough Guy" this weekend when he completed one of the world's most gruelling endurance events.
Now in its 22nd year, the Tough GuyTM race is run over about 8 miles in the grounds of a Staffordshire horse and donkey sanctuary.

Designed by the eccentric "Mr Mouse", the course is supposed to emulate some of the rigours and pain of famous battles and war zones. Despite the snow and winter chill, Martyn, and some 5000 entrants from around the world climbed scaffolding, traversed ropes, crawled under barbed wire, jumped through fire and repeatedly submerged themselves in icy, muddy water over the two hour course.

The St.John Ambulance team were in attendance and the 10 ambulances were kept busy all day. From a starting line-up of 4500, only 2900 made the finish line. Skipper himself came in a respectable 752nd, in two hours  9 minutes. According to the Birmingham Mail, this year's event recorded "a dozen broken or dislocated limbs", and over 600 cases of hypothermia.

Skipper, 45, 4th Dan assistant instructor of Tower Shukokai Karate Club, Darwen, said

  • "I've done some crazy things in the past, but this is easily the most demanding thing I've ever experienced".
He went on;
  • "it was really distressing seeing people littered around the course, shivering, and bleeding. We all got a hot chocolate or a cup of tea at the end, but it was impossible to drink as we were shaking so much with the cold - to see thousands of people all trembling violently is quite bizarre."
  • "I'm grateful that I suffered nothing more serious than a slight ankle sprain, and some minor scratches and bruises, although my fingers still haven't regained all their feeling, a day later, " he laughed.

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