Andover Man Takes on Bear Grylls Survivor CourseAndover action man Ivor Phipps is competing in the Bear Grylls Survivor race taking place at Trent Park in North London this weekend.

Created by Bear Grylls and his team of mountain and Survival experts this is a challenge that most will not fully accomplish. The race consists of three laps of a gruelling 10K course, with the first two laps finishing with three unique Survival tasks, followed by the final 10K lap to the finish. There are also over 100 obstacles along the way, each one as difficult as the next. Strength, agility, balance, resourcefulness and determination are just a few of the attributes that participants will require to complete these gruelling tasks. Failure to complete a challenge results in a time penalty, so not an option if you have your eye on the Ultimate Survivor trophy.

This race is limited to just 1000 athletes and will be the first race of its kind, and Ivor is lucky enough to have been selected.

36 year old Ivor, hasn’t always been a fitness fanatic, in fact, for many years he struggled with depression to the point where he didn’t want to leave the house. But his life took a turn for the better when he started training at Andover Martial Arts and Fitness Club.

“I was at a very low point in my life where I felt like I was loosing everything and felt like life was to much and I wasn’t achieving anything in life. I was miserable and shut myself away from the world. One day when I was at my lowest I was on medication and was very close to giving up. Something sparked inside me that made me realise I needed to change my life and take control. A friend encouraged me to take up kickboxing at AMAFC where I met Andy Lavery and his amazing team. It was a big step for me to get into a situation where I had to interact with people and get close to people I didn’t know. I was incredibly shy and no confidence in myself at all. But with the encouragement of Andy I started to find my confidence and my love of fitness.”

Ivor went on to take part in the Dawn Breakers 12 hour charity challenge, stepping in at the last minute when someone dropped out. He ruptured a muscle in his calf early on, but carried on despite the pain. This made him realise he had more strength and determination in himself than he realised. He has now become the fittest and strongest he’s ever been and says that he has a much more positive outlook and has realised what he wants to achieve with his life.

Ivor has been doing Dawn Breakers for over a year now, and has also taken part in a few obstacle course runs (OCR) with his fitness friends including the Ram Run and two Tough Mudders.

After seeing the Bear Grylls Survivor Challenge advertised Ivor said he would love to do it but couldn’t afford it, one of the Dawn Breakers instructors posted to the members asking them to sponsor him and within minutes the cost was covered! So here he is taking part of the biggest challenge of his life thanks to the support of his friends who will all be cheering him on.

Ivor is doing the race not only as a personal challenge but also to raise money for Cancer Research UK. It is a charity he has a personal connect with as he has lost many close friends and family to cancer, as well as knowing close friends that have beat cancer or are currently fighting cancer. He also wants to do his friends at Dawn Breakers proud.

“My ambition is to return the kindness and support I have received from Andy and everyone at Dawn Breakers, without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s their belief in me that makes me want to keep pushing myself, in the hope that I may inspire others to test themselves and to show it is not impossible to change your life for the better.”

You can donate to Ivor’s charity collection via Just Giving:

Polly has almost 20 years in the media industry. As Editor of Andover and Villages, she strives to bring the latest and greatest news with a minutes notice. Polly can be contacted via or alternatively called at