Assault course fails to unnerve friends

THE prospect of a Sunday morning run is likely to send most people diving for their duvet.

Throw in some barbed wire, fire pits and pitch black tunnels and even the toughest of competitors would be begging for mercy.

But Carl Roper, from Long Melford, and Glenn Andrews, from Great Cornard, are not most people.

And the thought of what they will face when they line up for this weekend’s Spartan Run in Cambridge does not fill them with dread, but excitement.

The pair will be taking part in the 5k race – made up of mud runs and fear-inducing obstacles – to raise money for the Free Press appeal for Carl’s daughter, Megan.

“It just seemed like a good idea,” said Carl, who lives in Swanfield.

“It should be quite an interesting day as, from what I’ve heard, it is a pretty extreme race. Hopefully it will go ok and I will finish in one piece.”

The 37-year-old said he has been attempting to get out running and go to the gym more regularly in readiness for the race and believed recent experiences when completing the Three Peaks Challenge – climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon in 24 hours – would see him through.

He also has the support of friend Glenn, who finished the run last year.

“I think it was just one of those things that I wanted to tick off my life chart,” said the 44-year-old. “I’m confident we can do it.”

Around £70 in sponsorship has been raised by the duo and they hope the task of negotiating Bassingbourn Army Barracks on July 29 will boost the appeal fund for four-year-old Megan.

A £20,000 target has been set, which will enable the Roper family to convert their home and make daily life easier for Megan, who suffers development delay and epileptic fits caused by a mystery condition.

“I know Carl and his wife Sarah well and it is good to be able to do something for the cause,” said Glenn.

To sponsor the pair, visit the Free Press office or donate to the appeal fund.

q More than £500 was raised for our appeal at the Long Melford Street Fair.

A stall run by Megan’s mum Sarah added £410 to the fund, while a zumba demonstration and street collection raised £130.

Annette Hearnden, who runs the groups, said: “We are all aware of the huge amount of money needed for Megan, and we were keen to do something to help.”