SIX DARING volunteers are launching into the New Year with a gruelling quest as they take on the inaugural Mountain Rescue Spine Challenger race.
David Wyatt, Paul Mayall, Iain Airth, Gary Jones, Chris Maylor and Nicky Torr from Oldham Mountain Rescue Team will join MR personnel from teams situated along the Pennine Way to tackle the arduous 108-mile race in January.
The race, which will run alongside the public competition, will put participants through their paces to cross a challenging section of the Pennine Way from Edale to Hawes in 60 hours.
The rugged and technical race adds to the mental challenge, while racers also have to cope with navigation and the typically severe winter weather.
And although generally only half of the entrants finish in the allotted time, the team has been training hard as they aim to raise £1,000 for OMRT.
Matt Torr, OMRT Chairman, was due to tackle the course but has pulled out after aggravating an old achilles injury after running the 42-mile Oldham Way in November.
He has switched onto a role on the support team, which will supply food, drink and encouragement to the participants throughout the race.
Matt, from Delph, said: “I’ve been involved with the Spine Race for the past two years, supporting our treasurer David Wyatt who completed the race last year.
“The event cast its spell on me. Something about watching tough men and women being slowly physically and mentally deconstructed made me question whether I had the mental fortitude to take it on.
“The distance, coupled with the time on your feet, weather and navigation makes this a pretty serious undertaking. The route takes in some of the most technically challenging parts of the Pennine Way. It requires concentration, good physical fitness, resolve and respect.”
Matt added: “David’s previous fundraising generated over £500 so this time we’ve set a target of £1,000.
“We are raising funds for our running costs for buildings and vehicles which costs us over £10,000 out of our average annual running costs of £25,000.”
Support Oldham MRT Spine team online: www.justgiving.com/OMRT-SpineTeam2016