GRIM 08 becomes GRIM 48 as the Muscular Help Foundation (MHF) smashes record for largest ever team in Army assault-course with runners (known affectionately as Muscle Warriors) raising thousands to help children suffering with muscular dystrophy.
MHF’s co-founder and polar adventurer Michael McGrath has recruited almost 50 volunteer Muscle Warriors to take part in the event this Saturday 6th December 2008 to raise money for the charity’s Muscle Dreams programme.
Muscle Dreams provide unforgettable experiences to children and young people in the UK afflicted by muscular dystrophy – helping them live a dream or fulfil a cherished ambition such as meeting the presenters of BBC’s Top Gear programme or a TV celebrity chef or enjoying top VIP hospitality while watching their favourite sport.
The GRIM 08 is an eight-mile assault course through mud, slime and water on land used by the Army to test out vehicles near Fleet, just outside Aldershot in Hampshire. The course was used by the James Bond film makers to shoot a hovercraft chase in the movie Die Another Day, but those taking part in this “fun-run” won’t have the luxury of any powered transport.
“Absolutely not,” said Michael, who is a tireless fundraiser for MHF despite himself being confined to a wheelchair by muscular dystrophy. “Those who haven’t done GRIM before are in for a real treat. It isn’t known as the GRIM 08 without good reason and yet our Muscle Warriors are doing it for an extremely worthy cause.
Muscular dystrophy is such a debilitating disease; it robs sufferers of their mobility, their independence and finally for those with the most severe form, predominantly children, their lives. All of the children they are raising money for will never be able to tackle such a challenge even when they become adults. It would be impossible and yet the money raised by our team will help some of them realise fantastic experiences that I hope they will never forget.
I’m sure one or two of our team, my daughter and her friends included, will be cursing me when they are up to their waists in freezing mud and water out there but they can at least take comfort in knowing their suffering for a couple of hours will help ease the suffering of some of these children, possibly giving them a life-changing experience and certainly a memory that will always be remembered.”
Michael, a well-known motivational speaker, is no stranger to enterprising fundraising and is an inspiration to thousands of others around the world with this most cruel and unforgiving disease. In 2002, despite his own debilitating condition, Michael’s pole2pole project became a reality when he led an expedition to the North Pole, a feat he repeated two years later when he got to the South Pole and in so doing, he became the only disabled person to have reached both Poles.
Michael’s feats earned him a mention in the Queen’s 2004 Christmas Day broadcast from Buckingham Palace in recognition of his contribution to national life. This has subsequently brought further recognition for the charity he co-founded for fellow sufferers even less fortunate than himself.
Although Michael has already smashed the record for the largest team ever to compete in the seven year history of the GRIM 08, he is already signing up Muscle Warriors for next year’s GRIM event.
“I know times are ‘GRIM’ economically for many people at the moment. I believe that the current turbulence will settle and people’s confidence will return. Having muscular dystrophy is permanently ‘GRIM’ because there is no treatment to delay or reverse the progression – there is still no cure for this wretched disease but through our Muscle Dreams programme that gives a little hope, courage and inner strength, we work hard to give children whose muscles are broken and wasting away something to look forward to and for their families something to always remember and cherish. So please, if you can, help us out or come along on GRIM day and support us.”
We are aiming to take “BEFORE AND AFTER” group photos with all participants wearing their Muscle Warrior T-shirts. We would welcome media photographers to attend. Reporters will also be able to interview Michael, his daughter and members of the team at the event. Michael and the Muscle Warriors will be at the course from 8.30am on Saturday 6th December 2008. The first BEFORE group photograph is scheduled to take place at 9.30am outside the Muscle Warrior tent, close to the start/finish line. The event officially starts at 10.30am and should be completed before 1.30pm.