St Albans Muddy Mucker event is massive boost for Rennie Grove Hospice

St Albans Muddy Mucker 2016

St Albans Muddy Mucker 2016 - Credit: Archant

Hair caked in mud, shivering after being soaked through with freezing water, knees torn ragged after scrabbling through tunnels, and muscles screaming from constant abuse, you still couldn’t take the smile off my face after completing the Muddy Mucker on Sunday.

As a regular supporter of Rennie Grove through the pages of the Herts Advertiser, I’ve previously leaped out of a plane, run round St Albans dressed as Santa, and completed the Herts 10K, but nothing compared to this gruelling five mile assault course, probably the toughest thing I have ever done in my life.

I certainly wouldn’t have made it round without the support of my team-mates, gym buddies Abigail Giles and Leanne Blacklock, and our impromptu fourth member, Devon Spelman-Glasford, who we recruited on the day and proved a massive help when it came to hauling bodies over obstacles.

We joined 250 other adrenalin addicts for the event in Chiswell Green, which tested participants’ strength and stamina in the face of challenges including mud crawls,, monkey bars, rope swings and a tyre wall, plus lots of muddy water.

Also tackling the mud for Rennie Grove was Mark Hayward who was in a team with Bren Parkins-Knight, Kirsten Whitehouse and Keely Hart, all from St Albans. Mark said: “I did the trial run of the course and enjoyed it so much I wanted to do it for real. There was also the added bonus that it’s so local and is raising money for such an important charity.”

St Albans resident, Chris Gray, also took part in a team – the Linden Loonies – joined by James Dalrynple-Smith, Julie and Neil Kemp, James Barker and Berangere Bouillon.

Chris said: “It was really good fun and I would definitely take part again. The marshals and supporters were fantastic and really encouraging, so full credit to them for giving up their Sunday to help out. There were a lot of obstacles in the muddy water which were great – just when I thought I was nearly finished there was another water obstacle!”

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Rachel Moffat was joined by family member, Juliet Davis, and said: “I really liked the sections of the course in the muddy water – they were definitely my favourite and there was no way of avoiding the mud! There were a great mix of obstacles and the camaraderie was brilliant.”

The first participants back, after only 53 mins, were Geoff Taylor and John Casson from St Albans. Geoff said: “It was definitely tough! I’m tall, so I didn’t have a problem with the depth of the water or some of the obstacles, but the climbing walls were quite challenging. It was also difficult to get out of the water because the bank was so slippery! The marshals were a great help and were really supportive.”

Gillian Barnett, director of fundraising and marketing at Rennie Grove, said: “Thank you to all participants, volunteers and supporters for making the event such a success - it’s fantastic to see a community come together like this.

“We’re hoping to raise £30,000 in sponsorship, which will fund thousands of hours of specialist care so that more local families can benefit from our 24/7 responsive service in their own home, as well as services provided in the Day Hospice in St Albans.”