From the outset Richard was very candid about the path that had led to that point. His rugby career’s cruel premature ending, his searching road to recovery and finding inspiration from a combination of Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ book and a sentence from his late Nan's funeral that had stuck with him – ‘the horizon is only the limit of our sight’ – and now his resolve for what now he'd set out to achieve.
He spelt out the detail and scale of the 737 project and gave insight into a timetable of gruelling physical, emotional and logistical obstacles he would need to overcome both on and off the mountains. An ambitious (to say the least) race to climb the highest mountain on each of the world’s continents and venture to the South and Geographical North Poles all within just 7 months; something that had never been done before. But it was painfully apparent that the hurdles faced just getting to the foot of those mountains were equally as daunting with odds stacked high against him at every juncture.
By chance a few of us had recently watched a documentary about a group of nurses that treated climbers at Everest's Base Camp so we had a very small understanding of what he was facing; the brutal temperatures, the pain barriers and the exceptional risk of death with each footstep. We distinctly recall questioning his sanity and whether he'd truly grasped the very real danger he might not come back. His measured response was that he’d weighed all the risks but he truly believed he could accomplish it. Looking into his eyes, we believed him. Thinking back we took a chance on him, but the truth is it never felt like that. Not once did we doubt his ability or likelihood of finishing, even at 3am on a dim, drizzle-soaked Cardiff morning huddled around a phone waiting for the call from the summit of Everest that eventually arrived hours later.
Our initial meeting was intended to last just an hour but lasted closer to four; we had started a friendship that continues today. The Challenge was born and the rest, as they say, is history.
Since that day, absorbed in the twists and turns of 737, Limegreentangerine have worked tirelessly to help Richard achieve as much exposure as possible, not least for the cause, Marie Curie Cancer Care, that he raised funds for. Initially, we were part of a close-knit project team but now more recently we're developing Richard’s wider brand and website as he looks to the future. We were asked to design the sleeve for his autobiographical book in which he talks about his life from professional rugby player and the transition to extreme environment athlete.
We got our hands on a copy some time ago and can confidently say that the book doesn't disappoint. A few pages in Richard speaks of those early days in 2009 and assembling the Challenge Team members; most of whom have remained close friends as our lives were bonded by this episode.
Despite being involved with Richard’s projects there are many insights and revelations through the chapters we hadn't been privy to along the way. It’s a very honest and frank account of his experiences. Richard has captured the ultimate highs and devastating lows, the endurance and the redemption from 737 and the other expeditions to date. Reading the book has stirred up many since forgotten emotions from our involvement over the last five years. Back then we had no idea how involved we would become both in a business sense and on a personal level. Richard is now part of team green. A friend and a true Limey.
We are hugely proud to be featured in his book and we wish Richard all the very best with the launch. Beyond the Horizon published by Sphere, an imprint of Little Brown Books, is available to buy from Amazon, Waterstones and many other bookshops now.