The Fan Dance – James Tomlinson


I spent six months training for one of the toughest SAS selection routes in the country and was delighted to have completed it given that the weather on the day was in excess of 25 degrees. Having never set foot in the Brecon Beacons I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew it was going to be hard work. The weather was extremely hot and the main aim was to get on as much fluids as I could in the first hour or so. We had to make the halfway point inside of three hours otherwise you weren’t allowed to continue. Having made that I had to then mentally prepare for the return journey which goes up Jacob’s Ladder – that was a real test, as at that point I had started to cramp up.

The Fan Dance was organised by UK Special Forces soldiers in August 2013 in remembrance of three men who had died while taking part in an SAS selection course. It was a great experience and although I wouldn’t say it was totally enjoyable everyone was there to help each other and provide support for those struggling to get to the finish.

James Tomlinson