Thousands prove they are all Tough Mudders

Jumping into cold water, clambering under barbed wire and racing up steep slippery slopes – the toughest event on the planet took place in Kettering at the weekend.

More than 7,000 people descended on Boughton House to take part in the Army-designed 12-mile long Tough Mudder challenge on Saturday and Sunday.

Participants were given a starting time and immediately made to climb a high wooden wall before even reaching the starting line for warm-ups.

Waves of about 50 runners negotiated a muddy ditch before jumping into pools of ice-cold water and then climbing over giant walls.

Other challenges included dashing through stinging nettles, tackling greased up monkey bars and running through fire.

And with the finishing line in sight, contestants were faced with clambering up a slippery slope and dodging through electrocution wires to get to the end.

At the finish they were greeted with a can of bitter ale and a warm hug from the event organisers.

Among the thousands who took part were friends of 22-year-old Matthew Pinnock. Matthew, of Higham Ferrers, has an inoperable brain tumour and his friends are raising cash for Brainstrust, a charity supported the Pinnock family. Under the name Team Butters, the group of 17 runners raised nearly £5,000.

Bryn Lee, 24, of Market Square, Higham Ferris, said: “To start with we thought it was quite easy, but then after 10 miles we were all dead.

“It was a great event and we all want to take part next year too.”

The average finishing time is two-and-a-half hours, but just four in five actually complete the course.