A sea of blue conquered mud sweat and tears.
The Lancaster Guardian and the Visitor’s Born Heroes team took on the mighty Born Survivor military obstacle course on Saturday raising more than £44,000 for the Save Our Hospice campaign.
More than 300 people all dressed in the team colour blue braved the muddy conditions at Cumbria’s Lowther Castle.
The Born Heroes were led by Fitness Formation gym in Lancaster and many overcame fears they never thought they would to raise money for St John’s Hospice in Lancaster.
Personal milestones were reached with some running in the name of lost loved ones who were helped by the Slyne Road hospice.
The team also broke obstacle racing history, becoming the biggest team to ever take on a challenge of this type in the UK.
Sue McGraw, chief executive at Lancaster St John’s Hospice, said: “I think it was one of the most amazing, uplifting fundraising events I have ever been involved with.
“It was very moving when there was 300 people setting off up that hill.
“I can’t even begin to thank Ryan, Dan and Dan (from Fitness Formation) Nicola Adam and Kevin Bedford.”
Daniel Donohue, general manager at Fitness Formation gym said: “Four months ago, Fitness Formation’s Born Heroes campaign begun and right from the very start, it was clear that this it was going to be a special, and unforgettable experience for all involved.
“The community, and spirit that the team built was one of teamwork, and togetherness. To see the sea of blue pour up the hill from the start line is a vision that none of us will ever forget.
“Every member of the team has given so much to the cause over the last four months and we are eternally grateful for the support that they have given, and more importantly, the money that has been raised for the inspirational St John’s hospice.”
The team conquered obstacles such as mud slides, river crossing and huge steep walls.
Two members of the team sustained ankle injuries during the challenging event.
The Born Heroes, including Lancaster Guardian editor Nicola Adam and reporter Gemma Sherlock, enjoyed a mainly sunny day – even more remarkable as the event was almost cancelled in the previous week due to horrendous weather.
Nicola said: “It was a fabulous day and what shone above all else was the amazing team spirit within the Born Heroes. A day to remember for the rest of our lives. “I’d like to say a huge thank you to Ryan Donohue, Daniel Donohue and Daniel Flynn from Fitness Formation, Kevin Bedford from Born Survivor and, of course, the team at St John’s for their fabulous efforts in making this happen. But most of all every individual who overcame their fears. You are amazing.”
Kevin Bedford, events director at Born Survivor, said: “Personally I think the event went fantastically well.
“We certainly got good weather which made it worthwhile for people travelling from around the country to the event.
“We had 2,500 participants taking on 38 obstacles on the beautiful Lowther estate, it was the biggest event we have had and one we are likely to build for the future.”
Viv Savage, from Lancaster, said: “Having completed a few marathons, this feels like a far greater achievement.”
“Much tougher mentally, but with a fantastic team to get me round, this is something I will remember forever, and all for a great cause.”
Sam Hicks, from Lancaster, said: “An amazing team, an amazing event, an amazing amount of money raised for an amazing cause.
“Seeing the sea of blue t-shirts stand united for one cause at the start brought a tear to my eye.
“Saturday was a day where memories were made which will be cherished by everyone who took part.1,2,3 teamwork! 4,5,6 together!”
Fiona Hudson, from Lancaster, said: “When I was asked to do Born Survivor I was unsure as this was something I knew would really challenge me, fear of water, mud and confined spaces.
“I signed up did a few boot camps and then the big day came.
“It was the best feeling in the world very emotional and setting off with 299 blue shirts, I felt proud and glad I had signed up.
“Facing my fears and completing the course was amazing even with a sprained thumb.
“Thank you Ryan, Daniel and Dan for believing it’s a day my family and I will cherish.”
Debbie Gore, from Lancaster, said: “What an amazing day!
“Fantastic team, great atmosphere, plenty of laughs and loads of cash raised for St John’s Hospice, a day to remember.”
Karen Roberts, from Lancaster said: “The day was one I will remember for years to come and I was very proud to be part of a great team of people who have raised an amazing amount of money for St John’s Hospice.
“Team work and the great atmosphere helped to get people around.”
Heather Buckel, from Torrisholme, said: “This is the second time I have taken part in Born Survivor.
“I absolutely loved it and it is the most incredible experience.
“It was a real honour to be a member of the Fitness Formation Born Heroes team and helping to raise funds for St John’s Hospice.
“St John’s is such an integral part of our community and we all need to play our part in ensuring that this great establishment keeps serving us all.”
Danielle Hillman, from Lancaster, said: “Born survivor was one of the greatest experiences I have ever done, seeing a team of 300 run up that hill together a sea of blue t-shirts all doing someone amazing is a image that will stay with me forever!”
Carina Travis, from Heysham, said: “What an amazing achievement for all who set off on the journey.
“Although I was unable to finish due to injury, that group hug when the team left me with Ryan Donohue and Daniel Flynn to await help, summed up what the FF spirit is all about.”