People

Published: July 28, 2022 | Updated: July 30, 2022

Now this is some challenge as Dorset trio join team seeking new sled-pushing world record

Jemma Harding training for the Sled of Pain challenge.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Jemma Harding has done some physical challenges in her time but nothing on the scale planned for this weekend.

The 42-year-old is a member of a 12-strong team seeking to set a new sled-pushing world record.

For a continuous 24 hours, they’ll be attempting to push a 100kg (15.75 stone) sled ten metres from one side of a drill hall to the other.

In order to set the record of pushing a minimum 800,000 kilos they’ll need to cover one metre every second.

All proceeds from the challenge, which is taking place at the Royal Marines Commando Training Centre in Lympstone, Devon, will go to the Royal Marines Charity, Rock2Recovery and The Breath Connection.

A £5,000 target is already close to being hit with more than £4,200 raised so far.

The team attempting what has been dubbed the ‘Sled of Pain’ includes ex-Royal Marines, former police officers and fitness fans.

Also taking part from Dorset will be Lou Dutch, pictured left, who runs a personal training and health business in Wimborne, and Mark Clarke, from Poole, who was in the Armed Forces for 16 years.

Jemma, who works as a shepherdess looking after 400 ewes on a farm at Canford Magna, said: “It will definitely be the hardest thing I’ve ever done by far, both physically and mentally.

“It’s going to be a grind from start to finish – we have to push 100kg one metre per second for the entire 24 hours.

“We’re operating in three teams of four people, with two hours on and four hours off.

“We’ll be going back and forth on a concrete surface and it’s going to be very tough.”

Jemma has been training at E-Motion Fitness Hub, co-founded by James Isaac and Jack Forster on Poole’s Nuffield Industrial Estate.

“They’ve been really good and I’m very grateful,” said Jemma who lives in Canford Magna.

Mark Clarke

In May, Jemma was one of ten cyclists taking part in the 1,300 km (808 miles) Sandbanks to St Tropez bike ride.

The ten-day challenge raised more than £21,000 for the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

For Jemma, the two-wheeled expedition was not just a physical challenge but also about overcoming an accident that changed her life.

In 2008 she was involved in a collision with a lorry while riding her bike in London and needed 12 hours of emergency surgery.

Jemma, pictured left, said: “I didn’t know if I would be able to walk or cycle again.

“After the accident, I moved back home to Dorset to recover.

“I got stronger and stronger, and I just knew that I would get back on a bike one day.

“I didn’t want to let what had happened defeat me.

“But I’m pretty sure it left me with mild PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

“The Sled of Pain is going to be very challenging.

“But we’re raising money for three charities that support the mental health of our Armed Forces veterans and emergency services.

“It will be worth the pain.”

  • To donate to the Sled of Pain challenge please click here.