Always amazes me how quickly this event comes around. Five years ago a good friend and member of my squadron died whilst we were serving a tour of Afghanistan. Will Blanchard. Every year we have organised the Blanchard Challenge in his name to raise money for charity doing something physical.
Over the past five years we have undertook various challenges. This years challenge was to carry a stretcher with 50kg of weight for 63km (39 miles). The reason for this distance is the location was Bewl Water in the South East of England, and each lap is 21 km long, so three laps was the plan.
This year was a great success. It took us thirteen hours to complete. It was hard work. Shoulders were hurting so much from the stretcher bouncing up and down on them, legs muscles were very tight and in serious need of rest and the feet were very red and worn. A lot of limping that night around the camp site.
That feeling of coming into the campsite and putting the stretcher down was fantastic. Cheers and high fives all round. What a fantastic effort by the whole team. Unbelievable team spirit and that's what makes this challenge a real unique and personal experience. I love it.
It's remarkable what the body can actually do. Even when everything is hurting and wants to give up, it's the mind and your inner strength that will see you pull through. These events are always a test of strength and determination.
The charity we chose this year was Walking With The Wounded. The reason behind the stretcher carry. The sponsorship and support has been great. We had met our target of £2000 before we even started and we are looking good for reaching £3000. Fantastic effort so thank you if you have supported. Means so much to all of us.