Sunday 29th January sees the winter Tough Guy race held on a remote farm in Staffordshire, run by the eccentric “Mr Mouse”. There are two Tough Guy events each year, one in winter and one in summer, which consist of a gruelling cross-country run, followed by the world's largest and longest assault course, known affectionately as "The Killing Fields".
The race is held to raise money for the horse sanctuary - the horses being the normal residents of the farm on which the adventure takes place. The fees scale up from £44 and the later you enter, the more it costs. Surprisingly, there are plenty of tough guys happy to pay the £250 that it costs to enter in the last week before the race.
Mr Mouse runs a tight ship, and finding out the secrets of Tough Guy is a challenge in itself. If you head over to the website at Toughguy.co.uk you can try to decipher the details of the course - the distance of the run is given as 8 country miles - which could mean anything. Of course, it's not a straight run, it's all over the place: from the sublime to the ridiculous.
The assault course is comically extreme - high rope crossings, electric fences, barbed wire, flaming hay bales and freezing plunge pools are all par for the course. There is no let up in winter, with all the water obstacles included, to double the challenge of fighting the cold. Luckily, there is a heavy presence of paramedics on hand to deal with the broken legs and hypothermia cases. The race now pulls in media coverage from around the world; this year ultra-fit Hywel Davies has the winning spot firmly in his sights.
You may call us crazy, but Pocket-lint will also be on the start line this year to take the challenge.