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Hereford firefighter taking part in Dakar Rally 5 – 20 January, 2013

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Hereford firefighter taking part in Dakar Rally 5 – 20 January, 2013

Watch Commander Mark Cullum, based at Hereford Fire Station, took an early morning flight to Peru with other members of the Race 2 Recovery (R2R) team, ready to compete in the gruelling 9,000-kilometre race which starts in Lima on Saturday 5 January. The 1,700 competitors taking part in the rally will travel from Peru, through Argentina and into Chile, crossing sand seas, huge razor dunes and high Andes mountains, in temperatures of 40 °C plus as they do so.

The R2R team is made up of injured servicemen, former soldiers, sailors and airmen from the UK and overseas, as well as civilians with specific skills who have given their time and commitment to the endeavour. Its members came together just a year ago, meeting up in their spare time to create a capable and competitive rally raid team from scratch. Everyone involved has either a full time profession or is a serviceman currently rehabilitating from their wounds.

Watch Commander Cullum has been training the team for the last 12 months, drawing on his experience from competing in the Camel Trophy and several other vehicle challenges around the globe. He will drive the race truck and directly support the four ‘Wildcat’ Land Rover based rally vehicles. The race truck follows the R2R team in the race stages and acts as direct support should any of the race wildcats have problems.

He said: “R2R really is an amazing team. Some team members have been wounded in combat and have a huge variety of injuries, some that are more apparent than others, but each person has had their life completely changed.“
He explained that many of them have prosthetic limbs as a result of injuries received in Iraq or Afghanistan, and they have needed to develop procedures and techniques to enable them to operate in the demanding environment they will face during the rally.

He added: “Whether they have missing limbs, spinal or respiratory injuries, psychological or fragmentation injuries, each member of the team has resolved to prove that their injury will not stop them completing the toughest race on the planet. They aim to inspire others who are injured, disabled or facing adversity, by being the first team of injured service men to complete the formidable Dakar Rally.”

The team focus is also to raise money for a charitable cause, one chosen by the injured members of the team.
WC Cullum explained: “They have chosen to support a Help for Heroes project, the Tedworth House recovery centre in Wiltshire, where injured service men and women can receive every kind of support, for life.”

Passing on thanks to all those who have donated so far, he added: “All the charitable money that is donated to the team by the public or companies goes directly to support Tedworth House, and is completely separate from the team’s racing activity which is paid for by personal contributions and corporate sponsorship alone. The generous individuals and companies that sponsor us do so because they have a passion for the success of this unique campaign, and want to give their experience, products, financial support, expertise and commitment to make sure the Race2Recovery team complete the race.”

More information on the Race 2 Recovery team is available at www.race2recovery.com and anyone wanting to make a donation of £5 to the charity can text RACE20 £5 to 70070.

Hereford firefighter taking part in Dakar Rally 5 – 20 January, 2013

in News

Watch Commander Mark Cullum, based at Hereford Fire Station, took an early morning flight to Peru with other members of the Race 2 Recovery (R2R) team, ready to compete in the gruelling 9,000-kilometre race which starts in Lima on Saturday 5 January. The 1,700 competitors taking part in the rally will travel from Peru, through Argentina and into Chile, crossing sand seas, huge razor dunes and high Andes mountains, in temperatures of 40 °C plus as they do so.

The R2R team is made up of injured servicemen, former soldiers, sailors and airmen from the UK and overseas, as well as civilians with specific skills who have given their time and commitment to the endeavour. Its members came together just a year ago, meeting up in their spare time to create a capable and competitive rally raid team from scratch. Everyone involved has either a full time profession or is a serviceman currently rehabilitating from their wounds.

Watch Commander Cullum has been training the team for the last 12 months, drawing on his experience from competing in the Camel Trophy and several other vehicle challenges around the globe. He will drive the race truck and directly support the four ‘Wildcat’ Land Rover based rally vehicles. The race truck follows the R2R team in the race stages and acts as direct support should any of the race wildcats have problems.

He said: “R2R really is an amazing team. Some team members have been wounded in combat and have a huge variety of injuries, some that are more apparent than others, but each person has had their life completely changed.“

He explained that many of them have prosthetic limbs as a result of injuries received in Iraq or Afghanistan, and they have needed to develop procedures and techniques to enable them to operate in the demanding environment they will face during the rally.

He added: “Whether they have missing limbs, spinal or respiratory injuries, psychological or fragmentation injuries, each member of the team has resolved to prove that their injury will not stop them completing the toughest race on the planet. They aim to inspire others who are injured, disabled or facing adversity, by being the first team of injured service men to complete the formidable Dakar Rally.”

The team focus is also to raise money for a charitable cause, one chosen by the injured members of the team.

WC Cullum explained: “They have chosen to support a Help for Heroes project, the Tedworth House recovery centre in Wiltshire, where injured service men and women can receive every kind of support, for life.”

Passing on thanks to all those who have donated so far, he added: “All the charitable money that is donated to the team by the public or companies goes directly to support Tedworth House, and is completely separate from the team's racing activity which is paid for by personal contributions and corporate sponsorship alone. The generous individuals and companies that sponsor us do so because they have a passion for the success of this unique campaign, and want to give their experience, products, financial support, expertise and commitment to make sure the Race2Recovery team complete the race.”

More information on the Race 2 Recovery team is available at www.race2recovery.comand anyone wanting to make a donation of £5 to the charity can text RACE20 £5 to70070.