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Injured Personnel are First Disability Team to Finish the Dakar Rally

I was delighted to read that Race2Recovery, an outfit made up predominantly of injured serviceman, succeeded in its goal of becoming the first disability team to finish the Dakar Rally.

The Rally is widely known as one of the most difficult and gruelling races in the world and takes place over a period of 2 weeks. This year’s race started in Lima, Peru and finished in Santiago, Chile.

It involves driving over some very unforgiving terrain and, for the Race2Recovery team, driving through the night to stop the engine from overheating in the sweltering daytime conditions.

Race2Recovery was created by Captain Tony Harris and Cpl Tom Neathaway when the men were both recovering from injuries sustained while serving in Afghanistan. Their aim was to raise money for Tedworth House Personnel Recovery Centre in Tidworth, Wiltshire, where many of the team spent time recuperating from their injuries.

The team entered four vehicles in the race but only one managed to finish and, in fact, a third of all those entered failed to cross the finish line in Santiago; a testament to how difficult the race is.

The Race2Recovery vehicle which did manage to finish was driven by Major Matt O’Hare and co-driven by Corporal Phillip Gillespie. Corporal Gillespie is a leg amputee as a result of injuries sustained in Afghanistan. He said the race had pushed every single one of them to their limits and beyond.

He continued that their team motto is ‘beyond injury – achieving the extraordinary’ and he said they had done just that. They certainly have; huge congratulations to the team.

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