NEWBIGGIN lifeboat crewman Michael Brown is one of thousands of people who survived the world’s toughest endurance test to raise funds for charity.
Michael and his colleague Steve Housego, who are both engineers at Gateshead-based IT solutions company ITPS, took part in the annual Tough Guy Challenge in Staffordshire.
Used by the British Army to train troops, the challenge covers an eight-mile course and includes blazing fire pits, water-filled tunnels, icy swamps covered in barbed wire, and electrified fences.
More than 220 entrants were taken to hospital suffering from broken bones and hypothermia this year.
Michael said: “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but fantastic at the same time.
“At one point I was in a water-filled underground pit in the dark with hundreds of other people.
“We were crawling through filthy water dodging live electric cables and heavy obstacles hanging from the roof, before wriggling on our stomachs through a narrow pipe, hemmed in by people in front and behind.
“One man was given CPR and airlifted to hospital after being electrocuted and falling face down in the water.
“I was absolutely drained but it was an immense feeling knowing I’d finished the course and got my Tough Guy medal.”
Michael has raised more than £500 for the RNLI and Children North East, and is already planning to do the course again.