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Focus on Military

Commando Challenge

The Royal Marines Charity is an organisation providing support to Royal Marines, their families, veterans and cadets. They offer a range of support from financial assistance, funding innovative mobility aid projects, to helping with the transition into civvy street.

To show our support, raise awareness and fundraise for this charity, we took part in the endurance training course usually tackled by the Royal Marines recruits when training for their coveted Green Beret. This involved crawling, running and taking on eight obstacles, known as the ‘Commando Tests.’ The Commando Tests are set out to test the four core values at the heart of being a Commando: courage, determination, unselfishness and cheerfulness. The event is held on Woodbury Common - the same course where recruits from the Royal Marines’ Lympstone training base take their first Commando test.

Despite warming up and being debriefed by the Royal Marines volunteers, nothing could prepare us for what would lie ahead! After running up steep inclines and making our way down uneven gravel declines, we faced obstacles that included crawling through pitch black pipes of gravel and wading across pools of thick mud. The last obstacle we faced had the highest fear factor, as it involved an underwater culvert known as the dreaded ‘Sheep Dip’.

The Sheep Dip is the last obstacle that is said to give nightmares to even the toughest of Commandos - it involves a dive through a short underwater tunnel. Luckily for the Irwin Mitchell team, the Royal Marines were on hand to make sure we got through this safely and quickly, although this was overshadowed by the anticipation of being dunked in murky sub-zero degree water!

After emerging from the Sheep Dip soaking wet and freezing cold, we were soon able to get our body temperature up by finishing the assault course with a 5km run through the rough moorland and woodland of Woodbury Common.

Alongside a great turnout of fundraisers, Superman actor Henry Cavill was also put through his paces by the true men of steel, who made the experience that little bit more gruelling. The volunteers certainly revelled in ensuring everyone was adequately covered in mud from head to toe, and Superman himself was no exception. Henry Cavill is the Royal Marines Charity Ambassador and in the run up to the event, he posted several superhero inspired workouts in preparation for the real thing!

Published: 18 July 2017

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