On Friday 2 May at 5am Mike Mitchell embarked on a gruelling 40 hour tennis marathon. Mike finally finished at 9pm on Saturday 3 May after playing against 57 people.

Mike says he decided to take on this challenge because, "a regular customer of mine at Hemingways recently came back from Afghanistan and what he, and his fellow servicemen, went through is unbelievable. The stories that he has told me are both shocking and tragic, and this inspired me to look deeper into what Help for Heroes does for the men and women who have returned from serving Britain in conflicts".

"Our forces put their lives on the line every day to protect not just us in Britain, but civilians in countries all around the world. What they go through, and the sacrifices that they make on a daily basis, is beyond the understanding of anyone who has not been there and they deserve the upmost respect from us. The support that Help for Heroes gives our wounded servicemen is invaluable. These men and women have risked their lives to protect the rights of innocent people across the globe and the least we can do is ensure that they are looked after in their hour of need in the same way they look after others in theirs".

How did the event go? Were you pleased with the outcome?

"It was incredible! I am still amazed by the amount of support I had from friends and strangers alike, who really got behind me and helped me get through the hardest points – cheering me on at 3am, bringing me food, and most importantly coffee (!) first thing on Saturday and being there for me throughout the whole event, keeping my spirits up."

"I am still trying to get my head around the fact that I actually did it! I think it will take a while to sink in."

What was the hardest part? The early morning? Towards the end? Which part was toughest to get through? And how did you keep your mind on the goal?

"The hardest part was 5am to 9am on Saturday morning. It was absolute hell – it was a very cold night and by the time the 24 hour mark came I was really struggling. I was ready to quit until Tom arrived, a physiotherapist arranged by Pure Sports Medicine. He completely turned it around for me on Saturday; overnight everything had seized up and all my muscles had become so tight that that, coupled with the exhaustion, meant that I was ready to throw in the towel, but he worked wonders. I can honestly say that had he not been there I very much doubt that I could have carried on. I totally owe the fact that I managed to finish to him, and I cannot thank him enough."

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