The 100 Peaks Challenge - A Year On!


This time last year the embryonic scribblings for what the 100 Peaks Challenge has already become, began. Most will know that the Challenge began life as "Beyond the Last Blue Mountain – the Ally SkyGod Challenge". A mouthful and one that didn't roll off the tongue easily. It became a battle then of capturing the ethos of why it was called that in the first place (the tribute I wanted it to be for my little brother), and finding something succinct that would leave no confusion as to what we are trying to achieve.

A year on it's hard to believe how far the Project has come. The 100 Peaks Challenge is instantly recognisable and has seemingly captured the imagination of many. There is a complete Management and Support Team in place handling operations as well as a Training and Medical Team managing those that have registered for the Challenge.

Registration for the Full Challenge has already closed and the Information Packs and Training Trackers issued to those who have registered in time. It's now though that the serious work begins for those that have aspirations of making the team. The reality is we have to trim the current numbers to a manageable number for when the Challenge begins in May 2017.

The 'Selection' process ends on 23rd August this year and everyone will be monitored constantly between now and that date. However, the process will continue up to the Challenge start, even if you make the team, you can't rest on your laurels, getting selected for the team only means you're half way there and it's up to individuals to maintain that level. The commitment and desire that is being shown is exemplary and just watching the way others continually inspire the group as a whole is humbling.

There is so much energy and focus that it encourages all to step up and be better, be more. The training volumes are immense as are the numbers beasting themselves, the enthusiasm isn't just being shown by those aiming to take on the Full Challenge but those aiming to take part in Partial elements and by the support team too, it's truly awesome to witness. This is one amazing group of people, which extends to our families too. I know from a personal point of view what we all as individuals will have to sacrifice and that's precious time with those we love. You can't get that time back, so we have to be smart with our time and make the best of the time we have. This Challenge our families too, not exclusive to those who will march the hard yards, cycle the never ending miles and paddle hopeful with each stroke that land will begin to appear.

I would encourage you to ensure that on this journey, you bring your families along too, without them we are only half as strong as we could be. We will need them more than it is possible to quantify, the next nine months are going to be brutal, the period beyond that more brutal still. The training recces alone will be 3/4/5 days of constant battering, up at dawn, done at sunrise, eat, sleep and go again all the while administering ourselves, and going hard for a long time. It's at that point after those slogs when we will need them most to help us remember why we're doing this. Use the love it's our most powerful weapon and the one that will ultimately see us win.

Talking of wining and the reason we're taking this on, our Goal is to raise a minimum of £100,000.00 for ABF The Soldiers Charity and Support our Paras. Shortly we will release the new Fundraising Packs and during the course of this year we will be staging various Fundraising events, the first of which will be the Official Challenge Launch on 21st May. Most of you will be aware that we have a Jump Day with the Red Devils organised in August, 30 people will jump that day and if everyone hits their minimum Target we'll raise £13,500.00 from that one event.

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is the National Charity of the British Army. Formerly known as the Army Benevolent Fund, it was established in 1944 and exists to offer a lifetime of support to soldiers, veterans and their immediate families in times of need. They provide financial assistance to individuals and their dependants, and make grants to charities and other organisations which deliver specialist support on their collective behalf.

Support our Paras provide welfare assistance to serving soldiers and families to complement or fill the gaps in State provision, as well as supporting vital aspects of the Regiment’s daily life and history. That support includes Mobility equipment and disability conversion of vehicles, Funding remedial courses and help to assist those recovering from wounds, Funding vocational courses and help to assist soldiers in transitioning into civilian life, Funding sporting equipment for the wounded and for Regimental teams, Funding Adventurous Training expeditions for serving troops, Assistance with travel and other costs on compassionate grounds.

The Challenge has already received serious recognition from Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Dan Jarvis MP who have both given their backing to what we are trying to achieve. On top of that we have been extremely fortunate to gain the endorsements of Andy Torbet and Phil Campion who are both acting as Challenge Ambassadors. Ken Jones will act as a Patron and we've been incredibly fortunate to add Richard Villar to the team as Medical Officer. Add to that, I have been selected by Ordnance Survey to be one of their #GetOutside Champions for 2016.

We will on 14th May officially launch the Challenge, that launch will be an opportunity to have everyone together and to focus attentions that a year from that date we'll be pretty ready to go. The event will be held at Cpl Bryan Budd VC Gym at Merville and will also see Barrie Williams have a crack at the Guinness World Record for distance covered on a rower in 24hrs, there will some fundraising activities and an army curry filling our bellies ready for The Paras'10 the following morning! So save the date, this is your Challenge and we'd love to see as many of you there as possible.

2015 has been an amazing year, 2016 promises to be even more incredible, if you're reading this and thinking that you'd like to get involved in this Challenge and Support us, and help us deliver this exciting project then please contact us, be part of something special, "nothing is as strong as team spirit" #BeInspired #BeInspiring.....


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