Pals design their own Tough Mudder endurance course after coronavirus cancels fundraising event

Three friends have designed their own endurance course to raise money in memory of a beloved friend and brother.

Simon Tuck, 42, Neil Innes, 41, and 37-year-old Chris McArdle, all from South Shields, aim to complete six five-mile runs and undertake a series of grueling endurance challenges over the weekend of August 22 and 23.

The trio will be raising money for Mind Tyneside in memory of Chris’ brother Steve - who took his own life - by taking part in the on-line version of one of Europe’s toughest events.

Europe’s Toughest Mudder is a combination endurance race and assault course, with competitors taking part in a series of challenges during a long-distance run.

(from left) Simon, Neil and Chris

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This year’s event has been cancelled as a result of the Covid pandemic – but organisers are holding an on-line version allowing people to stage their own race.

“We have been doing the local ones for eight or nine years and two years ago we did Europe’s Toughest,” said Simon.

“We were signed up for this year’s but it has been cancelled so we’ve decided to complete our own socially-distanced five-mile loops at Marsden beach through 8pm to 8am on Saturday night.

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(from left) Simon, Neil and Chris

"The plan is that we will do it on Marsden Beach, setting off from the car park. We have got a five-mile loop planned out which takes us to Platform 33 at South Shields."

The Tough Mudder organisers have given competitors a list of things they will need to complete their challenges and will be issuing videos on-line.

They are raising money in memory of Steve: “We have always done Tough Mudder as a group and Steve was there from the start,” said Simon.

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"A few years ago, he was taken really ill and was in a coma for a month. It caused some nerve damage and he really struggled with his mental health and unfortunately he gave in to suicidal thoughts last year.

Steve McArdle (second left) with (from left) brother Chris, Neil Innes and Simon Tuck

"I have struggled with mental health issues, too, and I know how important mental health charities are and how understaffed they are – this is our way to say thank you and to give them a bit of support.”

To donate, click here.

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