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Help for Heroes MacAvalanche 2017 Team

Battle Back Centre for Armed Forces

h4h MacAvalanche RaceWe would like to take special notice of certain individuals who are very fond of our service to produce quality garments; an extraordinary team of XC and Enduro riders - Battle Back.  Co-founded and partnered by Help for Hero's and the Royal British Legion, the opportunity to participate in adaptive and adventurous sports would not be possible without the help of  these two organisations; helping with the financial support and marketing and design for the Battle Back Centres.  Battle Back Centres exist to help support wounded, injured and sick Service personnel.  They aim to help  Service personnel and veterans to achieve the best possible recovery and if possible, return to duty.  They also take pride in ensuring each individual can comfortably and safely return to civilian life, if their time in the Armed Forces has come to an end due to their illness or injury.  Within the MOD there are many avenues to help and the work they do certainly brings out the best results - just keep reading to see!

This year, the team are heading North of the Border and visiting the phenomenal Glencoe Mountain for one of the most famous No Fuss events - Macavalanche.  The 8 strong team were selected during 5 monthly training weekends where their riding skills were slowly improved and assessed to ensure that no one was out of their depth.   Twenty-five hopefuls tried out and the team selected itself as the weeks went on.

The mass start stage presented our biggest problem of the whole challenge. We knew that the snowfall had been very light this year and that meant that there was a significant distance between the top chairlift and the snowy start-line. Our team had a range of physical injuries, lower limb trauma from explosions, gunshot wounds, sports damage and spinal impairment. Others on the team suffer from mental injuries which make them vulnerable in high stress situations and anxious about being in crowds. The task of climbing the mountain whilst towing the trike and carrying two bikes at a time really stretched the team to its limits. Just when we thought we were going to have to settle for starting further down the hill, some of the other riders came to our aid, dropping off their own bikes and coming back down the hill to help us. Without doubt, this action saved the day and got us to the start point in time for the 1500hrs kick off. It clearly showed what a cracking bunch of people the MTB Enduro community are.

The prize giving was truly memorable, Frazer Coupland gave me the opportunity to thank all those who had helped us out and then, totally unexpectedly, one of our team made it to the podium, the crowd went wild and the team were jubilant. What a way to finish off the event and what an epic event to be part of.

The process of designing and selecting the team jersey was an ordeal in itself, change after change and no one could agree. Once we had finalised the design the manufacture and delivery flowed seamlessly. It is always a proud moment when the team wear their colours for the first time and for this event they were outstanding.