A GRUELLING charity challenge to fit a week’s worth of specialist Army training into 24-hours has been taken up for the first time.

Staff from Pegasus Company, 2nd Infantry Training Battalion at Catterick Garrison, hope to raise £5,000 for Para Company charities after undertaking the physically and mentally demanding programme.

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Major Paul Collier, from Sunderland, said: “We are the gatekeepers of the Parachute Company.

“Recruits and serving soldiers who want to move into P Company to jump out of an aircraft come to us for a pre-parachute selection course and we put them through a series of physically, mentally and emotionally demanding tests.”

The challenge consisted of eight events - usually tackled over five days - including a ten mile march in one hour 50 minutes with heavy backpack and weapon; a ‘trainasium’ aerial confidence course to test whether recruits could throw themselves from a height on command; a log race, carrying 10-feet long telegraph poles for two miles; a steeple chase; and two mile loaded march in eighteen minutes.

The latter stages of the challenge included milling – a short boxing-style event in which recruits must give and receive a punch to the face; a 20-mile endurance march; and a stretcher race.

Maj Collier said: “The challenge is hard enough over the week but in 24 hours it was brutal – I don’t think it has been done before.

The staff finished at around 1am yesterday morning (June 12).

"We hope to raise around £5,000 for our charities the Afghanistan Trust and Parachute Regiment Charity.”

To donate visit www.justgiving/pcompany24.