Mike Skidmore, partner at Skidmore Turnbull Design, took his clothes off, wrapped himself in a blanket and was “cuddled for a long time by all these lovely girls from the St John Ambulances”.
Poor Mike had hypothermia. He and two colleagues shivered violently until the girls in white coats arrived at the 1996 Tough Guy Challenge held recently at Wolverhampton.
Seven STD staff ran 11 miles cross-country, including river runs, hills, obstacles and a two- mile assault course featuring chest-high river wades of up to 30 yards through broken ice. The water temperature averaged a rather inhospitable minus five degrees.
“It was pretty stupid. We must have been really drunk to have agreed,” admits tough guy Mike, who is fully recovered, as are two colleagues who broke digits.
The aim was to raise money to educate children about drugs, and for a horse sanctuary.
Mike’s wife Cathy is also a tough guy. She is absent from the picture but was one of the two women on the STD team – which apparently competed against “very intimidating” teams from the army, police and SAS.