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Carl Hoggarth completes the Desert Warrior challenge in aid of CALM

3.47am on 26th January. That was the precise time that my and many other’s lives changed forever. My best friend had gone.

Rich and I always had a close bond and even though we were not related we were as inseparable as brothers. Between Rich, Kev, Rob, Big Jon and many others, we all grew up together, getting into the kinds of trouble that teenagers are allowed to get away with. Even though our lives moved us all off in different directions the bond we all had was the one constant factor; one that was always present regardless of distance, time and anything that could be thrown at us. Unfortunately, this was something that this bond could not prevent.

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Rich was always as active as a bag of hyper cats and always hated to sit still. His main pleasure was always keeping in shape, from regular visits to the gym to his most recent challenge in taking part in triathlons or adventure runs. 

It was because of this that I felt it was a fitting tribute to take part in the Desert Warrior challenge in Abu Dhabi in his memory. Not only to raise awareness but selfishly so I felt close to him in the process. So for 10 weeks, I trained eight times a week, gave up alcohol, eating healthily and living near a treadmill because I not only wanted to do the best I could but to do him proud.

On the 24th April at 8am on a hot Abu Dhabi morning peaking at 25 Degrees – I started in my first long distance 10km obstacle course.

calm2Out of a field of 2,500 people, it took me and seven others 1hr and 45mins to complete the gruelling 10km run, which had 22 obstacles strewn throughout the course. John Lambert and myself raised in total £1,565.

But my challenge doesn’t stop here. I have now signed up for four more obstacle challenges that total 57km, and includes 50 obstacles and a mountain. They’re not only to keep raising funds and heightening awareness of this great charity but to also keep the memory of my best mate alive by doing something he always loved doing.

Miss and love you bro.

If you’d like to sponsor Carl, go to his JustGiving page here

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