TEN TONNES of truck inched forward on Saturday as South-African businessman Don Bryden staggered to the finish line to raise money to stop rhino poaching in his native land.
Don, 44, owns Aligra Personnel in Groundwell Industrial Estate and transformed the front of his offices into a test of super-human strength on Saturday.
Having trained for a year and a half to get physically and mentally prepared for the challenge, Don was helped along the way by Absolutely Fit gym and former England’s Strongest Man Laurence Shahlaei, who made the challenge look easy before Don strapped himself into the harness.
Money raised from the event will go to Don’s new charity, Bryden Endangered Species Fund, which he will take back to South Africa to fight rhino poaching.
He was cheered every agonising step of the way by a crowd of friends and family urging him on.
“I think after halfway through I was ok, but at the beginning and toward the end it really got to me,” said Don. “I was starting to wobble by the finish.
“The support has been amazing, and I have got friends from 30 years ago who have just phoned me up to wish me good luck. It has been a very happy experience for me.
“This is just the start, and next year we are going even bigger. I am planning to pull a train, called Thomas, which will be twice the size of the truck.
“Laurence has got me into zones that I didn’t think I could get to and lifted weights I didn’t think possible.
“The work I have been doing with Absolutely Fit is really just about focusing my mindset and getting into the zone. That is about focusing on why you want to do it, and for me it was easy because this is for charity.
“It was time to give something back. I have taken my fair share in this life and I want to give something in return.”
Laurence said he was impressed with how far Don had come in such a short time.
He said: “Don has pulled off something special here because he is a middle aged man and has only been training this last year.”
All the funds raised will be taken to help preserve rhinos in South Africa.
“My family in South Africa do a lot of work with rhinos,” added Don. “There is a private game reserve called Kwandwe which has so far not been touched by poachers. It is protected by ex-special service but they do so on a voluntary basis so I thought why not do something to help over here?”
Contact Don.Bryden@aligra.co.uk or call 07816 238194 for details on how to donate.