Bless Prince Harry, he’s certainly game for a laugh.
The 28-year-old British royal and Army captain is going to be submerged in an ice-cold tank for 24 hours next week to help him and four other members of the Walking with the Wounded team prepare for a 208-mile race to the South Pole in November.
Harry’s part of a British team that are racing a Canadian and Australian team, and over 21 days or so, the participants will spend up to TWELVE hours a day skiing, with 10-minute rest breaks every two hours and then they need a further two hours for putting up and taking down their campsites at the end of each day.
Yes, so that’s about a minute (well a few hours) they’ll have at the end of each day for sleeping.
Gulp. And I thought I was tired. I can’t imagine how their feet are going to feel after just one day, let alone twenty-one.
And let’s hope for his and Cressida Bonas’ sake that Harry doesn’t end up getting cockbite or any other form of frostbite.
The tank practice session will take place on September 16th-17th in Nuneaton, Warwickshire and in simulated blizzard conditions (there’s a snow machine and fans that create 124mph winds) they’ll practice putting up and taking down their tents, cooking meals and doing two-hour skiing stints on exercise equipment.
And that’ll be a walk in the park compared to the real thing.
Harry’s been given time off by the army to take part in the race and his team includes four amputees – who all lost limbs whilst serving with the military in Afghanistan.
The prince is a patron of Walking with the Wounded and the race will raise funds for the charity – which helps rehabilitate injured military members to retain for a job in a civilian role if they can’t return to the services.
These are men and women who’ve been bombed, shot at and lost arms and legs in Afghanistan. So they’re battling physical and emotional problems – including severe depression and post- traumatic stress and some have sustained such bad head wounds that they’ve had to learn to walk again as if they were babies because their brains have forgotten how.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Harry but this makes me love him even more, the race is a really challenging one for someone who’s at the peak of physical fitness, but it’s really inspiring that amputees are taking part as well.
One of the guys taking part has lost BOTH legs below the knee, another an arm, another their lower right leg and the woman her lower left leg.
I really hope they raise a tonne of money and whilst they’re doing the race and pulling sleds that weigh as much as 70kgs shivvering their nuts off as temperatures hit minus 54°C I might even be able to summon up the energy to go to the gym for one hour a day.
I said might.
If by any chance this has left you feeling inspired to do a charity trek of your own then Walking with the Wounded are looking for game souls to climb Everest to raise funds for them. Details here.