Bury St Edmunds: Teenager gets tough for extreme contest in the Midlands

Samuel Jackson

Samuel Jackson - Credit: Contributed

TOUGH guy Samuel Jackson has been pitting his strength and stamina against an assault course in a bid to raise money for charity.

The 18-year-old cadet sergeant, a member of the 301 (Bury St Edmunds) Squadron ATC, joined 4,358 crazy competitors to take on the most demanding one-day survival ordeal.

The Tough Guy Race is widely regarded as the toughest of tough assault courses. It is held annually on a 600-acre farm in Perton, near Wolverhampton, often in freezing winter conditions.

Competitors are challenged with a 15km course consisting of knee deep mud, freezing cold pools of water, electrified barriers, 40ft climbing frames, flooded tunnels, barbed wire, and a whole host of other obstacles designed to induce as much fear and pain as possible upon anyone who dares to take on the challenge.

Samuel took on the race to raise money for the John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation (JTYAF) and finished in a time of two hours and 50 minutes, placing him 1,482nd.

The event was established in 2008 to honour the memory of John Thornton, a young Royal Marines Officer and ex-air cadet who was tragically killed at the age of 22, whilst serving in Afghanistan.

The charity supports young people from a range of youth organisations providing them with scholarships and bursaries to support their personal development and the pursuit of their ambitions.

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Samuel said: “The race certainly lived up to its name in being truly tough to complete. There were times when I felt so cold and exhausted I thought I wasn’t going to finish. I kept thinking to myself, what would John Thornton have done, would he have given up so easily? That’s what kept me going. When I finished, my celebratory hot chocolate ended up everywhere apart from my mouth as I shivered uncontrollably. Overall, I now have a huge sense of achievement for finishing the race and a few cuts and bruises to match. I feel incredibly proud to have raised more than £200 for a fantastic cause.”

He is currently completing a junior leaders course, which runs from September to Easter, involves nine weekend training camps and an assessment week.

To sponsor Samuel and donate to the JTYAF visit www.justgiving.com/samuel-jackson9

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