A pub barman is planning a major event in the Northumberland National Park for people who don’t mind getting muddy.
Frankie Parker hopes the mud run, which will raise money for charity, will attract 500 extreme sportsmen and women taking part in an obstacle course through the county’s toughest terrain.
He has already planned a route for the event in September and is pulling together several man-made obstacles to make the course as challenging as possible.
He is appealing for people to take part in the event, which he says will be the only one of its kind in Northumberland.
Frankie, 24, a barman at the Hollybush Inn in Greenhaugh, near Bellingham, came up with the idea after competing in similar events in Edinburgh and York.
Part of the course runs through the remote Blackburn area near Kielder Water.
He has called it Torture Trails and hopes it will attract people to Northumberland who would not normally come.
He said: “I have set up a mud running event in the National Park. It will be the first one in Northumberland.
“The run will consist of ten man-made obstacles over rough fell land and lots of natural terrain.
“I am hoping to bring 500 people to the area and hopefully the event will also entice lots of local people to give it a go. The event will raise money for local charities.
“The Torture Trails course spans over 10km of mud, rock, river and moorland. Participating in a Torture Trails event is considerably more risky than, say, gardening and you may well end up hurting yourself as it will be slippy, rough, and uneven.
“These events are run all over the world but there have been none up to now in Northumberland.
“The landscape here is perfect with its rugged terrain, hills and fells, and natural obstacles as well as the ones I will be making. Participants will have to crawl under netting in the mud, climb up steep banks using ropes, crawl through tunnels and trenches, and run through hanging tyres.”
Frankie splits his time between Greehaugh and Durham and said his friends in both places have already expressed an interest in taking part.
He said: “It’s early days yet and I am still building the obstacles.
“It’s lambing time at the moment, so I will not be putting them in place yet, but I am collecting scaffolding and piping for some really tough challenges.
“I would imagine setting people off in groups of about 50 so they don’t all crash into each other.
“Mud running is an incredibly popular thing worldwide.
“I think Torture Trails will be the ultimate physical and mental challenge with the wonderful Northumbrian scenery in the background – torture never looked better than this!”
He said everyone from seasoned veterans to complete beginners and even competitors in banana costumes would be welcome.