Quartet take on gruelling 24-hour challenge to raise money for North Devon Hospice

Three of the Royal Marines present their cheque at North Devon Hospice. Picture: ContributedThree of the Royal Marines present their cheque at North Devon Hospice. Picture: Contributed

Four Marines from RM Instow pushed their bodies to the limit during a gruelling 24-hour challenge to raise £1,350 for North Devon Hospice.

Mat Tichias, John Gilbert, Adam Walter and Greg Partridge aimed to complete 460 miles on a rowing machine, exercise bike and cross-trainer machine.

They worked around the clock, only stopping for short re-fuelling breaks, and eventually smashed their target by completing 499.6 miles in the allotted time.

The challenge aimed to raise money for the hospice, and thanks to the generous support of friends, family and colleagues from the base, a total of £1,641.22 was collected.

Mat said: "This was certainly tougher than any of us imagined it would be. We all consider ourselves to be fit guys but the one thing you can't account for is the fatigue that sets in when you've been rowing, cycling or cross-training hour after hour, particularly with no sleep and little food.

"We really had to dig deep to get through it, but people had been so generous with their sponsorship, that kept us going."

The quartet were joined by about 15 other participants who came to work out alongside them and give some moral support.

Mat added: "That was absolutely vital because it kept our spirits up, gave us different people to talk to and alleviated the boredom!

"Our target was to raise £1,000, so to go well beyond that was amazing. We've seen at close quarters just what a difference North Devon Hospice makes in this area, so we're all proud to have contributed. We know that every pound will help local patients and families, so it makes the ordeal we went through completely worthwhile."

Claire Sherwood, from the hospice fundraising team, joined the four for part of their challenge.

She said: "I couldn't believe they kept going for so long. It is a credit to their mental toughness and their willingness to go above and beyond for the hospice. We're all so grateful and, on behalf of all those we care for, I'd like to thank everyone at RM Instow who made this possible."

To support North Devon Hospice, call Claire on 01271 347204 or visit www.northdevonhospice.org.uk.