CLAIR Evans has real pulling power. The 50-year-old mum-of-two from Buckland towed a Land Rover Defender loaded with eight burly rugby players for a distance of 200ft on Sunday (21 May) and her efforts have pulled in more than £1,900 for Rennie Grove Hospice Care.
Family, friends and well-wishers were on hand to cheer Clair at Aylesbury Rugby Club as she fulfilled the personal challenge to pull the vehicle and its payload, together weighing more than 3000kg (almost three tonnes). She was equipped with just a harness and a sturdy pair of trainers, plus a steely determination that has also seen her deal with painful fibromyalgia that she has had for the past 20 years.
Clair was elated to have achieved her goal: “I’m so pleased to have proved to myself that - with the right attitude of mind, the appropriate training and some specialist support – I could achieve something as seemingly impossible and mad as this!” she said.
“I trained for six months every other day to prepare for it – in the gym, lifting weights, running, etc. – and then I did a couple of practice pulls to master the technique. You have to lean and take tiny steps, it’s quite hard to be co-ordinated! I practised with an empty vehicle first, then we had the idea of adding people… that way I could offload them one by one if I couldn’t manage all eight at once!”
However, not only did Clair successfully pull ‘Andy the Landy’ 100ft with his heavy load of eight rugby players, but she even asked more people to hop on board for the return journey!
Clair added: “I’d like to thank two very special professionals for helping me to get fit and healthy enough to attempt this crazy feat. My personal trainer Mark Guest of Physique Fitness, Tring, long ago taught me that anything is possible. He was responsible for my fitness, strength and technique for this challenge. Paul Magee of Profortis Sports Therapy and Pain Management helped to design and develop what I call a ‘magic gadget’ known as the Inter X, which operates along similar principles to a TENS machine to reduce pain. In the space of three short months, it reduced my fibromyalgia pain by at least 90%.
“Thanks as well to everyone who has supported and sponsored me, to the game rugby players from Chesham Stags and to Aylesbury Rugby Club for allowing me to use their venue free-of-charge.”
Clair undertook her truck pull challenge in memory of her godmother’s son, Mark, and to celebrate her 50th birthday.
“Mark didn’t have the luxury of reaching his 50th birthday. After a very long and courageous battle he lost his fight with cancer at the age of 47,” said Clair.
“The wonderful Rennie Grove nurses supported the family 24 hours a day, seven days a week and ensured that Mark died with dignity, pain free and at home where he wanted to be, with his wife and beloved dog Lily by his side,” she added.
“To enable other patients to receive the fantastic care that Mark had would be a wonderful tribute to him,” she said.
Clair’s JustGiving page is at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Clair-Evansisonthepull