A team of Monmouth rowers crawled in mud, ran across fields and waded through water in a gruelling challenge to raise money for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

Monmouth School for Boys’ pupils Angus Whitehead, Alex Kulkarni, Matt Webb, Ed Baker, Hamish Lawson, Rui De Sousa Stayton and Ben Morgan tested their endurance to the full as they tackled the 10k obstacle course on farmland in Penpergwm, near Abergavenny.

The Form Four boys were joined by Angus’ mum, Angela Whitehead, on The Great Gwent Poppy Run held to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.

They completed the course in just over an hour and were among a total of 243 runners who scaled hay bales and mud and crossed a section of the River Usk before going through woodland.

Monmouth School for Boys’ Head of Rowing, Mr John Griffiths, said: “The Monmouth team negotiated the challenging cross country course, through the fields, mud and water and generally had muddy fun.

“They certainly enjoyed themselves and felt it was a great team-building experience – ideal for the trials and tribulations of the upcoming rowing season. They enjoyed it so much, they now want to get the whole squad together to do another mud run after Christmas.”

Mrs Whitehead said: “I took part because the boys couldn’t enter without an adult in their team. I was incredibly impressed with their loyalty to each other as well as helping various people from other teams along the way.”

Although the regatta season doesn’t start until the spring, the Monmouth rowers will be competing in head races, which are long distance timed pieces against other schools and clubs.

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