IT WAS a test of strength and endurance and a heartfelt tribute to a dear friend while helping a good cause.
For more than two hours, Vicky Clissett pulled a heavy vehicle around a car park.
I could feel the pressure on me with everybody watching, but it pushed me on and I told myself that I just needed to get a grip and get to the finish line.Vicky Clissett
Pulling the Mitsubishi Shogun for 10 laps around the car park in Petersfield, Vicky Clissett fought through the pain to pull the vehicle the equivalent of a mile.
Undergoing weeks of training, the 31-year-old from Horndean took on the mammoth task to raise awareness of road safety after her former colleague and friend Laura Westbrook, 22, was tragically killed in a car crash on the A3 on September 15 last year.
Following Vicky’s courageous efforts, a memorial bench was installed at Whitman Laboratories in Bedford Road, where the two worked together.
Speaking after the car pull, Vicky said: ‘It was really tough.
‘After two laps, I was starting to think “you’re not going to be able do to this”, but I was able to keep going and after seven laps, I knew I had to finish it but my legs were already creaking.
‘I had spent weeks in the gym doing leg work and preparing with a personal trainer but right from the start, I began to realise how tough it was. The car park was not all level as well, which made it that bit much harder.’
A crowd of friends cheered on Vicky as she battled with the task, which helped her get over the finishing line.
She said: ‘I could feel the pressure on me with everybody watching, but it pushed me on and I told myself that I just needed to get a grip and get to the finish line.’
The event was held just a year after Laura was killed in the crash, with all the funds raised by Vicky – who now lives in Bristol – going towards road safety charity, Brake.
The charity campaigns for road safety improvements across the country and provides support to families who have lost loved ones from incidents on the roads.
Explaining her decision to get involved, Vicky said: ‘Laura really was the loveliest person. She was such a pleasure to be around at work. The thought of her did pop in to my mind as I was doing the pull and it did spur me on.
‘This day was all about doing something special to really honour her memory.’
On the bench – which was unveiled straight after the car pull to the waiting crowd – a message reads: ‘I lived, I loved, I was here.’ Vicky added: ‘I am absolutely exhausted from doing it and it really put me through the wringer but I think it was worth it.
‘Although, I would definitely never do it again!’