Mi PA tackles Rough Runner through mud, rain and tears for Forever Manchester

Brought to you by Emma Mills


Mi PA tackles Rough Runner through mud, rain and tears for Forever Manchester

It’s probably around 12pm, but we all feel like we’ve been churning mud up to our knees in the bitter rain for hours. Our hands feel like play dough, legs like jelly (arms spaghetti), but despite this Caroline and Emma are still on form, ready to tackle the zip line with all their remaining energy.

Utterly exhausted from previous efforts, I take the I-cannot-deal-with-queuing-in-the-cold route around the obstacle and await my pluckier team members on the other side. All of the obstacles we’ve tackled so far are much harder than they look. The zip line is no exception.

As Caroline launches herself down the line, we watch in horror as she misses the end, inching slowly backwards away from the safety of the platform. Like many before her, her grip on the rope fails, and Caroline plummets into the murky water below.

Shortly after, Amber, Shauna and I spend the next five minutes dragging her over the inflatable barrier, since the organisers of Rough Runner (who are also the spawn of Satan) chose not to include ways to get out of the obstacles.

And then time slows down as we look up to see Emma, who’s in line behind Caroline, jump off the other end. Half a second later she loses her grip, screams, and falls into the water. Uncontrollable laugher follows suit.

“What happened?” says a bewildered, soaked to the bone Emma.

It takes us a while to remember how to breathe.

The hilarious spectacle of the zip line was an experience repeated over and over again during Mi PA’s soggy afternoon at Rough Runner, all in the name of one of our favourite charities; Forever Manchester.

We tried. We failed. We laughed until we cried. However there were some very special moments where we succeeded.

My highlight of the day was watching Caroline slam herself against the muddy, vertical wall of The Ramp. While she missed the rope to pull herself to victory by inches, Emma fared better, making an impressive effort  to pull herself up to the top in true Mi PA go-getter style.

Meanwhile, I can only guess what the volunteers of Rough Runner were thinking as they watched our team disappear into the giant ball pool. I can safely verify that inside the claustrophobic walls ensued a mixture of sheer terror and side splitting humour. Watching Caroline helplessly sink in oblivion behind me was as horrifying as it was funny. But all we made it out unscathed, even though the whole experience was similar to that of being born again.


By the time we reached the finish line, it had been raining on and off for three hours. We’d waded through rivers, jogged for miles in mud up slippery hills and overgrown woodland paths, and attempted as many obstacles as our bodies could manage. We we’re cold. Really, really, really cold.

Finally, after posing for our ‘we’ve done it!’ picture, we ran to collect our bags, completely ignored each other’s goodbyes, and made the most important run of the day to our cars; to the warmth and shelter of being inside instead of outside.


It’s Monday morning in the office, and the first question we ask each-other is “Would we do it again?”

In a heart-beat.

Okay… maybe in Spring. But we raised over £500, and we are seriously proud and humbled by the fact. Thanks to all who donated; you motivated us all the way to the finish line.

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