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A key element of AVMI's Veterans Programme is to provide help to military veterans and their families, and if we can have some fun along the way whilst achieving this goal then all the better. This year in order to raise money for the charity “Help for Heroes” several AVMI team members decided to take part in the “Rat Race Dirty Weekend”. Did you know that there are currently more than 7,000 former military personnel in the UK that are homeless? An even more devastating study shows that suicide and PTSD rates among UK veterans are at their highest ever levels. Now, more than ever, these people who have served their country need our help.
The money we have raised taking part in this years Rat Race will support Help for Heroes in providing emotional rehabilitation to help combat PTSD, provide physical rehabilitation to support those that might have lost a limb during their service as well as provide welfare and financial support to veterans and their families that require it.
The Rat Race assault course covered 20 miles and 200 obstacles. Although different to an actual warzone the course did capture the challenges and the need for teamwork that every veteran understands.
Completing the course was both physically and mentally demanding. One of the toughest challenges the team had to overcome was navigating the very dark and claustrophobic tunnels. Other testing obstacles included jumping from great heights, tackling 130 metres of monkey bars and scaling high vertical walls, all of which required teamwork to overcome.
Some of the tasks were fun, but in no way were they less challenging. By the end everyone in our team was at some disadvantage due to injury but this ultimately helped ensure that everyone would rely on each other to complete the challenge. The morale of the team was always high knowing that we were doing it for such a cause close to our hearts. This made the entire experience even more rewarding as we crossed the finish line, cheered on by the crowd who appreciated our charitable efforts. Each team member burned in excess of 4000 calories, almost double what you would burn running a typical marathon, and in burning these calories we managed to secure a fantastic £2,800 in donations with AVMI adding another £1000 to make it an amazing £3,800!
We are already thinking about next year’s challenge, where we hope to complete 'The Double' (40 Miles and 400 obstacles!)