On Saturday 27 July, a group of intrepid Hallmarkers braved the Tough Mudder 5k obstacle course at Broughton Hall, Skipton.

To date 3.5 million people have participated in the endurance challenges, which include mud runs, crawling under barbed wire and electro shocks!

Though teamwork and personal accomplishment are at the heart of Tough Mudder, Rana Wall (Production Designer) and Becca Clapham (Designer) were also taking part to raise funds for their chosen charities. You can read about their incredible efforts below.

A group of people after completing a muddy obstacle course
Becca Chapman (second row, second from the left) and Rana Wall (first on the right) with Team Hallmark

Rana Wall, Production Designer

I’ve always liked the idea of challenging myself to complete a long distance event but a marathon has never really appealed to me. That’s why I decided to take part in the Yorkshire Tough Mudder.

A definite highlight was the camaraderie of the team; I really bonded with them all by the end of the course. I loved the team spirit of not leaving anyone behind and encouraging them to get through each obstacle. Parts were very challenging but together we were able to complete all 13 obstacles and had so much fun.

I trained for about 3 months using the Couch to 5K running app, which was a great way of building stamina over a long period. For someone who usually hates running, the amazing feeling I got after exercising spurred me to run 3 times a week!

The most difficult part was finding the time to train; I have 2 young kids so had to fit it around the school run every day. I also discovered the new world of podcasts through running, and found listening to these really motivated me to keep going.

A group of people after completing a muddy obstacle course
Rana and team celebrating their (very muddy!) victory

In total I have raised nearly £700 for Cancer Research UK, including £180 from an office bake sale. I wanted to support the charity as my twin sister was diagnosed with breast cancer just before Christmas last year. She has recently been told she is cancer-free, which is fantastic.

I’m glad I got the opportunity to challenge myself, meet new people and have fun, all whilst raising money for a great charity. I’ve now caught the running bug and have already thought about signing up to the 10 mile Tough Mudder next year!

Becca Clapham, Designer

Over the past few months I’ve raised funds and awareness for the Teenage Cancer Trust, alongside my auntie, uncle and other close friends and family members.

What started as a standalone charity evening soon snowballed into a calendar of events, which helped us raise an amazing (and ongoing) total of £11,844.

Along with Tough Mudder, our events included an office bake sale (which raised £201), a raffle, a Spinathon and a very popular glitter station at a charity evening.

Two women manning a cake sale
Becca and Anna Whittaker (left) manning the office cake sale
Hand pouring glitter onto a man's head
The glitter station was a sparkling success

Though it was great to complete Tough Mudder as part of the Hallmark team, I was also really proud of my cousin George for finishing this event with no training and only a few months after recovering from Burkett’s lymphoma.

After George received his cancer diagnosis in September last year, he had to live on Ward 94 of St James’s University Hospital for several months until the end of his treatment. Whilst there the NHS staff, along with the Teenage Cancer Trust, did all they could to make life a bit better for George and our family at such a difficult time. This included making the ward more homely by providing a TV with Netflix, a games room, free refreshments and snacks in the kitchen and buying the entire ward a takeaway every Thursday night.

Man ringing a bell to signify his hospital treatment has ended
George at St James’s University Hospital

Without all the help and care from Ward 94 and the Teenage Cancer Trust, George would have had an even more difficult time and may not have recovered back to his former self like he is today. My family are so grateful for their efforts and really wanted to give something back to help other families going through the same nightmarish experience. We’re just so happy that so many people have helped and supported us along the way to raise such a fantastic amount!

Feeling inspired by Rana and Becca’s amazing achievements? You can find your nearest Tough Mudder course here.

In the meantime, many Hallmarkers are taking part in another active challenge: a step competition aimed at raising funds for The Prince’s Trust (watch this blog for more info!).