Coal hump man’s tough challenge

Endurance champion John Hunter completes and wins the 'Fan Dance ' challenge in the Brecon Beacons.Picture Richard Ponter 130402a

Endurance champion John Hunter completes and wins the 'Fan Dance ' challenge in the Brecon Beacons.Picture Richard Ponter 130402a

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Scarborough’s coal hump champion John Hunter is set to take on the gruelling SAS course in the Brecon Beacons which claimed the lives of two soldiers.

Mr Hunter, 49, will travel to Pen-y-Fan in Wales this weekend for the Fan Dance Race, a gruelling 15-mile mountainous course.

Two soldiers died on Saturday during SAS selection training on what was the hottest day of the year.

Mr Hunter completed the challenge during the winter months and had been planning to return for the summer event since then.

He said: “I’m still determined to do it, but there is an element of trepidation about it.

“The organisers and staff are obviously concerned. They’ve upped the amount of water you have to carry to five litres and you have to sign a disclaimer to take part.

“The nature of the course is very open to the elements - there are some long drags up the hills and there’s not much shade.”

He added that doing the course in winter had its own difficulties too, as people’s water bottles were freezing up.

The challenge is one of a series of three Mr Hunter is taking on within a three-week period.

Last week he completed the “Para10” event Colchester Army Barracks, coming eighth out of 400 competitors.

This is a 10-mile multi-terrain run, complete with a heavy backpack. The Para 10 event takes place three times a year, at Aldershot, Colchester and Catterick.

Mr Hunter said: “I was very happy - it was my best ever performance and I was fastest in my age group.

“The only people in front of me were paras and Gurkhas.”

And on June 29, Mr Hunter took part in the Scottish Coal Carrying Championships in Fife.

Mr Hunter’s travel costs are being sponsored by Andy Hire.