After three years of taking part in what has been described as the toughest event on the planet, Bridlington endurance racer Steve Tighe believes his greatest achievement has been raising almost £20,000 for good causes.
And while he takes a year off from competiting internationally at the World’s Toughest Mudder, some of the money he has raised will be used to help to send another local sports star to a gymnastics competition in America.
Tighe, who runs the Blast Fitness gym in town, is giving the majority of the cash to a selection of charities, but he is also sponsoring Leah Colman from Bridlington Gymnastics Club, allowing her to take her place at the National Championships in Orlando in Florida later this year.
He said: “It’s with great pride and gratitude to the people of Bridlington and friends from across the country that I can now announce in the last three years Blast Fitness WTM fundraising has hit £18,285.
“I’m simply gobsmacked by this and so emotional at the thought of every penny donated by such great friends and family.
“I often think to myself after these huge events, could I have given any more? Well, having played it over in mind and with the injures I had to deal with along the way, the answer is a simple no.”
The World’s Toughest Mudder is an annual obstacle race which attracts the top endurance athletes form around the globe who try to complete as many laps as possible of a five-mile course over a 24-hour period.
Tighe has calculated that in his three attempts at the course, he has run 195 miles, further than travelling from Bridlington to Manchester and back, climbed 30,190ft which is higher than Mount Everest and completed 839 obstacles, including electric shocks and cliff jumping.
At his peak in 2014, he managed to finish as the top European and 11th in the world in Las Vegas, but the challenge was about much more than testing his physical limits.
Blast Fitness have held a number of fund raising events along the way each year and collected huge amounts of money in the process.
The final amount from 2015 stands at £3285.48 and Tighe said: “We are over the moon at this amount considering how many of our regular annual events didn’t take place this year, affecting our grand total by quite a considerable amount.”
The money raised last year was split between and Group B Strep Support, which works to fight infections in babies, and Yorkshire Air Ambulance , along with the donation to gymnast Leah.
In previous years, he has given donations to Help for Heroes, Yorkshire Cancer Research and the Alzheimer’s Society.
The event was only made possible by local businesses providing the necessary funds required to get Tighe, his partner Steph Clappison and his equipment over to America.
He said: “Special thanks goes out to John Fagan (Fagan and Sons painters and decorators, Kirsty and Richard Watts (W. Clifford Watts), David and Lesley Jackson (Hudson Contract), Daniel Smith (BW Industries), Steph Clappison (The Nail and Beuty Secret) Les and Julie Dyl (Rags Restaurant), Lisa and David Erskin (D-Tech Europe), David Dowson (Lloyd Dowson Accountants), Chris Barker (BKR Leaflet Distribution), Richard and Christine Iveson (RM and CM Domestic Services) and Dean and Darren Thompson (Pineapple Joes Embroidery).
“I am taking this year off the obstacle course racing scene, in order to rehabilitate my injuries properly ready for one final shot at hitting that top five placing I so desperately want to and know I can achieve.
“2017 World’s Toughest Mudder watch out - I’m coming for you.
“One last big thank you goes out to my amazing partner Steph Clappison who has been there and supported me without question through every single step of the way, and Charlie and Lou Kilburn of the Ship Inn Sewerby, who have helped with all of Blast’s fundraising events and been a big part of the amount raised.
“I had had fantastic support from the mayor Coun John Copsey, and all of these local business have been so supportive and I sincerely hope they will once again get behind me as I aim to smash out my final attempt in November 2017.”
Any other local business who would like to be part of his fund-raising can contact Steve on 07724 362999.