Mountain Rescue Magazine Winter 2021


Gavin Pittman ran 100 miles in just over 22 hours in an ultramarathon organised by himself and Marsden Racers, his local running and cycling club. OCTOBER: SUPERHUMAN EFFORT RAISES CASH FOR HOLME VALLEY

At the time of writing, he’d far outstripped his target of £850, with £2,520 in the bag for the Holme Valley team. Gavin, who works as a butcher in Saddleworth, set off from Standedge Tunnel, Marsden, at 5.00am on the Sunday morning and trailed up and down the canal between Tunnel End and New College, completing the gruelling challenge just after 3.00am on the Monday morning. He took short fifteen minute breaks throughout the day to refill on food and water, his longest pause an enforced stop for treatment from a sports therapist.

Figure 1: A SARLOC hit 0.7km away and 29m below the user.

Figure 2: Tabular view of the data including distance and altitude.

Figure 3: Ability to enter minimum and maximum range to display information.

Photo © Gavin Pittman.

He was kept company by other members of the Marsden Racers team at different points along the way, support which he said was vital in helping him complete the challenge. ‘If I’d had to run it by myself, it would have been horrific. Each lap I had two, maybe three, runners from my club supporting me and keeping my mind off what we were doing. The worst part was the relentless backwards and forwards. The mental side of it was horrible. At about 88 miles, I hit a massive brick wall. My feet were blistered, my legs didn’t want to go, and I’d chafed the skin off my arms. From that point there was a lot more walking than running but I just kept going forward. I’d have crawled the rest of the way if I had to!’

Figure 4: Doughnut created around the user so only items between the green and red circles are displayed.

Figure 5: Compass view with overview of tracked items.

Raising funds for rescue

DECEMBER: GARI FINCH MBE APPOINTED NESRA PRESIDENT Cleveland team member Gari has been involved in mountain rescue since 1970, serving as team chairman, secretary and call-out officer and holding the NESRA chair for the last forty years until his retirement from the role.

When Gari first became NESRA chair, mountain rescue was a very different organisation. Teams often didn’t have permanent bases, their vehicles were usually ageing Land Rovers, radios were large and heavy and mobile phones were non-existent with call-outs coordinated by landline. Despite this, teams worked well together. The most significant call-out Gari recalls was Lockerbie, in 1988 when the north east teams made important contributions in both Lockerbie and Northumberland. He was awarded the MBE for services to mountain rescue in the 2012 New Year Honours list. ‘The casualty care driven by NESRA is of a very high standard. Indeed, NESRA led the way in casualty care in mountain rescue for many years. The number of call-outs the teams attend has drastically increased over the years,’ says Gari, ‘not just because there are more of the public engaged in an increasing variety of activities, but because police and ambulance personnel have complete confidence to call upon our services and that’s down to years of hard work. Our responsibilities have increased too and we now have a strong and efficient water/flood rescue capability. ‘We have never lost sight of the most important principle: whatever we do is in the interests of the casualty. NESRA is a brilliant organisation, with members who astonish me, never mind the public, with their dedication and selflessness. I look forward to being their president. I am honoured and humbled to be awarded the post. To my colleagues I say thank you for your confidence, I will try to be an active president and at the same time not get in your way!’



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