THINK of doing an SAS-style obstacle course in dreich November weather, deliberately turned into a World War One battlefield quagmire – and regarding it all as a bit of fun!
You’d have to be a pretty hardy individual – or, as the Americans sort of say ‘Tough Mudder’ – to do that!
And that’s exactly what 39-year-old Lanarkian Chris McCann – and some fellow masochists from Lanark – will be doing at the weekend on both sides of the Atlantic, all in the aid of charity.
To explain to the uninitiated (ie sane folk) the Tough Mudder is a now infamous survival/endurance game in which contestants have to brave a series of dangerous challenges, all of them in a sea of clinging mud.
Going to the event billed the World’s Toughest Mudder in the USA at the weekend is Chris, who usually lives a normal life with wife Laura and their two children Cody (6) and Cole (4) in Lanark’s Hyndford Gate.
Most of the rest of the time he’s boss of his own construction company, CMC Design Ltd, now with an eight-strong workforce.
However, every now and again Chris feels the need to have a bit of rest and relaxation – by nearly killing himself for a laugh!
He explained: “I enjoy snowboarding and started training at the end of last year for the boarding season.
“I started doing various different types of training, i.e. boxing etc, and mentioned to my wife I would like to do a challenge. Tough Mudder was what she came up with and when I saw it I knew it was something I wanted to do!!
“I signed myself and my mate Robert Holmes – also from Lanark – up for the next Tough Mudder which was, at that time, three weeks away in Kettering. And we managed to finish in the top five per cent!
“Since then, I, and a few of my friends have competed in a few other obstacle races; one called Total Warrior was a 10k race on the Saturday and we did the 10 mile race the following day.
“We also entered a Spartan Race in Edinburgh and our kids took part in a Spartan Kids Race.
“For this weekend’s World’s Toughest Mudder event I’ve done a lot of different types of training, from going to the gym to running and mountain biking.
“The obstacles are my favourite part of the course. I much prefer them to the running – I particularly like the Mud Slides and Mud Trenches.
“Training has been hard, as I am still trying to run my business and see my family. I train three to four hours a day so get up at 4.30am to train for two hours before I go to work and then I train again for a couple of hours when I get home.
“I have also built an obstacle course of my own which incorporates two Berlin Walls and Monkey Bars. It’s a two mile course which I do with my mates at the weekend and we try to do as many laps as possible, taking on the obstacles too.
“Six of my mates from Lanark have entered into this weekend’s Tough Mudder in Cheshire which is also on November 17 and 18, the same weekend as I will be in New Jersey.
“The charity I am raising money for is the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
“When I decided to take on the challenge, I thought I would like to help a cause that is close to myself, and my family.
“On February 8, 2010 my six-year-old nephew Blair was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and from that day on his life, and that of his family, changed forever.”
Chris has set up a JustGiving page for fundraising. The website address is www.justgiving.com/chris-mccann2.