Vegas challenge is no gamble says Tighe

Steve Tighe with his sponsors and Bridlington mayor Coun John Copsey.
Steve Tighe with his sponsors and Bridlington mayor Coun John Copsey.

Steve Tighe has insisted his injury worries are behind him as he flies out to Las Vegas to tackle his third World’s Toughest Mudder.

He is set to land in America today, ahead of Sunday’s 24-hour endurance race, and he has dreams of a top five finish.

His other main goal is to pass the £20,000 barrier for fund-raising, and this year he will be helping Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Group B Strep Support.

Preparations for this year’s event had taken Tighe to the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships in Ohio.

He was all set for a top 50 finish in the 10-mile race, but suffered an injury on the last of the 50 obstacle and eventually finished in 116th.

He said: “Because I have had two torn intercostal muscles in my ribs for the past year, instead of using the core of my body on all the climbing obstacles, I was relying on my arms.

“I was relying on my grip and eventually my forearms locked because I had overloaded them.”

Since then, he has been undergoing intensive physio sessions three times a week with sports therapist Peter Lilly in Driffield.

“Without him, I wouldn’t have made World’s Toughest Mudder.

“However, I now believe I can improve on last year. All the torn muscles have been repaired.

“I would like to get inside the top 10 but inside my heart I have always wanted to be inside the top five.”

Tighe secured a top 50 finish in his first attempt at the challenge, and was 11th last year, the highest-placed Briton, after covering more than 75 miles - an achievement which has earned him a place in the race’s Hall of Fame.

“The first year was to find out what it was all about. Last year, I really trained for it, but I had something left in the tank at the end so now I know I can go a bit faster on each lap.

“It’s really exciting. I’m going all out for it this year.”

World’s Toughest Mudder is an extreme 24-hour obstacle course challenge built upon the desert sands of Las Vegas.

The runner who completes the most five-mile laps in 24 hours will be crowned champion.

But Tighe combines the physical challenge with fund-raising.

After raising £15,000 in the past two years for Yorkshire Cancer Research, the ALzheimer’s Society and Help For Heroes, the former Royal Marine, wants to help new causes close to his heart this time.

And he acknowledged the role played by his colleagues at Blast Fitness and his local sponsors, including Lloyd Dowson, who have bought him specialist equipment for the third successive year.

Tighe’s efforts in Las Vegas last year saw him become joint winner of the Free Press’ Sports Person of the Year award.