A ROYAL Navy veteran amputee sacrificed his sleep to undergo a gruelling 24-hour hand-cycle challenge.
Richard Hunt, 46, from Portchester, along with friend Tim Snowden, 31, underwent the tough feat at Fareham Leisure Centre from midday on Monday until the same time yesterday.
With each taking turns to pedal with their arms for an hour and a half before their partner took over, the duo battled through backache and tired muscles to reach the finish.
They covered 382 miles along the way – as they set out to raise more than £1,000 for the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association.
The military charity, which helps ex-servicemen following amputations, was a vital form of support for Richard when his left leg was amputated after years of failed operations following an infection.
After the challenge, he said: ‘My body feels in bits at the moment. It’s my back that is aching but the whole time I was just focusing on getting it done.
‘We haven’t slept but it’s all about mind over matter. We had a goal and I’m so glad we managed to achieve it.’
Richard has had to battle through the pain of losing his leg over the years, with Blesma coming to his aid. After having the chance to talk about his problems, he was inspired to work and raise money for them.
He added: ‘Blesma gave me the chance to finally be able to talk about it. I was a little bit lost for a time but they helped pick me up and gave me that desire to go and share my experience.’
The duo decided to take on the feat during Blesma Awareness Week.
Richard now runs business Saltwater Recreations, which sees him speak to children across south Hampshire about his experiences.
Tim said: ‘The middle of the night was the toughest part when we were fighting sleep. It helped that we had each other’s company to talk to!’
Richard, who is dad to 19-year-old Yaxian and Yinming, 10, previously attempted to kayak 2,300 miles around the British coastline in 2014 but had to stop when his shore team pulled out.
Richard and Tim’s fundraising total will be revealed later this week but donations can still be made for their challenge at justgiving.com/fundraising/richard-hunt18.