There With You: British Army captain climbs Mount Everest from his Hornchurch garden
PUBLISHED: 15:53 01 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:54 01 May 2020
Soldier Alex Raymond has raised thousands for the NHS, by climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest on his garden step.
Alex, 31, a serving captain for the Rifles battalion based in Aldershot – who has previously served in Iraq and Afghanistan – was so inspired by our NHS heroes, he decided on a whim to tackle the world’s highest peak by climbing a single 21cm-high step more than 42,000 times in under 24 hours.
Starting at 8pm on April 15 and with just 30 minutes worth of breaks, he calculated that he would need to climb the 21cm step leading from his patio to his garden at home in Hornchurch, 42,134 times to equal the 8,848m height of Everest.
Filming the entire climb on Zoom to family, friends and members of his regiment, he finished at 7.57pm in 23 hours 57 minutes, just in time to clap for the NHS at 8pm, before “ordering a giant pizza, having a bath, and falling asleep”.
Captain Raymond started out with just a £500 target, but has raised more than £3,500 to date for NHS Charities Together, with donations still rising.
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He said: “I wanted to do something slightly different to test myself and raise money - something which was easy to set up at home to keep the ‘Stay Home’ message going. But I only had the idea for this the day before and did no training for it!
“My girlfriend Danielle stayed awake with me for the whole 24 hours, supporting and feeding me, while people joined in from as far as Australia and Canada to do some steps with me via Zoom which really inspired me.
“In total over the 24 hours, I stopped for just half an hour, nipping to the bathroom and eating on the move.
“I found pasta hard to get down, so my girlfriend fed me protein shakes, tuna on crackers, Haribo and tomatoes. You don’t really eat on the move in the military, so that was a challenge!
“The Rifles are used to sleep deprivation, but I found the monotony really difficult, particularly in the early hours of the morning from 2am until 6am, by then I just wanted to stop, while in the last six hours I had to use every ounce of physical strength I had.
“I was in the hurt locker for a long time.”
Donate to Alex’s campaign: justgiving.com/fundraising/alex-raymond
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