A MAN who described the daunting challenge of a Toughest Mudder event in New York as 24-hours of hell has returned from the event as the highest ranking Englishman.
Simon Griffiths, pictured, who only turned 22 a few days before the premier adventure challenge series competition in the USA, completed an impressive five gruelling ten-mile laps of the obstacle-ridden course in New Jersey having qualified for the event earlier this year.
The Gobowen man recently applied for a career in the armed forces and he underlined his credentials by finishing 56th out of a 2,000-strong field despite injuring both ankles to prove himself as England’s Toughest Mudder in sub-zero temperatures while raising money for Help for Heroes.
Tough Mudder events are hardcore obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test a competitors’ strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie.
Following his return to the UK after a week in the USA Simon told the Advertizer: “But for the injuries I think I could have managed six or seven laps but I was pleased with my overall result.
“I met two Australians and two people from Scotland in the days before the event and we worked as a team for the first few laps.
“I started to struggle from dehydration after the first eight miles but after reaching 22 miles I felt refreshed and was able to help the others.
“They dropped out after the third lap but I was able to keep going so that was a big confidence boost.
“All the obstacles were iced over but it was just a case of taking each one as it comes,” he added.
Simon graduated from Reading University in the Summer but as soon as he completed his studies he was gearing up to tackle a host of obstacles following his qualification in his first ever Tough Mudder event, in Kidderminster.
The 24-hour event on the other side of the Atlantic presented aptly-named obstacles such as ‘The Berlin Wall’ and ‘Everest’ as well as cargo nets, electric shocks, swamps and ice tanks as well as swimming across a lake with temperatures dipping below -2 degrees celsius.
Wearing a 6mm wet-suit to help him get to terms with the conditions, Simon injured one ankle, and then the other jumping from 12ft high walls which hindered his progress.
Despite the obvious hardships Simon is however determined to go back for more and said: “I intend to do all the Tough Mudder events in the UK this year and hopefully I will be able to give the Toughest Mudder event another go.