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Adventurous Mayor's chauffeur reflects on Costa Rican charity challenge
10:57am Monday 11th March 2013 in News
AN intrepid council worker has raised around £3,000 for the Mayor’s charities after completing a 150-mile jungle challenge which saw him rushed to hospital with a venomous snake bite.
Mike Crannage, the council’s Mayoral chauffeur, also had close encounters with vampire bats, crocodiles and growling monkeys during the Coast to Coast charity trek across Costa Rica.
The 53-year-old, from Netherton, was one of only ten competitors from an initial 35 taking part in the ten-day challenge which involved running, climbing, abseiling and swimming the equivalent to six marathons.
Taking him from Quepos on the Pacific Coast to Cahuita near the Panama border, the challenge saw Mike endure sweltering humidity and steep terrain.
But the most hair-raising moment came after he stopped to cool down in a waterfall.
He said: “As I moved off back into the forest I felt a stinging sensation in the back of my right thigh.
“I thought I had been stung and I brushed at it with my hand. Only then did I realise it was a snake.”
All snakes in the South American jungle are venomous and some are deadly - so medical attention was a must for Mike, who had to endure a three-hour trek to the next meeting point before he could hitch a ride in a 4x4 to a jungle clinic - which was another two hours away.
He said: “By the time we got there my blood pressure was through the roof, I had a heart rate of 180 and was suffering arterial fibrillation, I was put on oxygen and attached to heart and blood pressure monitors.”
Luckily for Mike - his blood pressure returned to normal after a couple of injections and a dose of pills.
After six hours in hospital Mike was released from the clinic with a prescription for ten tablets to be taken over the next ten days.
Despite the setback, gutsy Mike completed the trek - climbing 1,000 metres to the top of a volcano and completing a 13-mile forest run.
Councillor Melvyn Mottram, Mayor of Dudley, said: “It is impossible to express how grateful I am to Mike for taking part in this challenge and helping to raise valuable funds for my charities.
“Mike’s challenges have become a regular fixture in the Mayoral calendar and, such is his commitment, I am sure there will be more to come in the future.”
Mike, who is no stranger to adventure, has raised thousands for Mayoral charities over the past two years.
In 2010 he braved temperatures of minus 30 degrees for a husky trek across the North Pole. He also ran 150 miles on his own through the Sahara Desert, braving sweltering temperatures and towering sand dunes.
The money raised from his Costa Rican challenge is being donated to Diabetes UK: Stourbridge, Dudley and District Support Group and the Dudley Stroke Association.
Anyone still wishing to make a donation can visit www.mikecrannage.com or email email@example.com - or people can also donate by texting RICA51 or RICA52 to 70070.