Race report: The Soldier Challenge - London, May 19, 2012
Almost a thousand competitors have taken to the streets of London today - Saturday 19 May 2012 - in the second annual charity fundraising Soldier Challenge run by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and adventure challenge specialists, Rat Race.
All are taking part in a military themed urban-adventure featuring some of London’s most iconic landmarks. Challenges located throughout the Capital range from marching, drills, and applying cammo paint, to abseiling, changing tyres, and kayaking, plus lots more.
During the four-hour window, in which participants have to complete as many of 35 different check points and challenges as they can, those taking part have kayaked in total over 200km – almost 30 times the distance covered by the famous Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race, and even marched the equivalent of the distance from central London to Heathrow airport – over 30km – in Hyde Park.
Soldier Challenge competitors have run, walked and used public transport to get between 35 different tasks and check points, including those located at the Tower of London, the Imperial War Museum, the Oval cricket ground, HMS Belfast and in the Thames itself.
In fact, the iconic city’s locations and behind-the-scenes access that the Soldier Challenge offers to many top attractions has proved a real draw with one competitor travelling from Nashville, Tennessee in the USA to compete.
Those taking part in the Soldier Challenge are all raising funds for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity – the charity that supports current and former soldiers and their families, throughout their lives. Most competitors have a personal reason for taking on the challenge and fundraising – including those with close friends and family in the Armed Forces, medical professionals who have treated first-hand those injured as part of their role in the Army, and simply those who want to do their bit to show support.
Event organiser, and Youth Committee vice-chairman at ABF The Soldier Challenge, James Vosper-Robinson commented: “The support that competitors have shown our Armed Forces today is simply phenomenal. Everyone has had great fun getting involved in the challenges. I’ve seen teams running at a significant pace throughout London to ensure that they complete the most check points, to those who are taking it slower to enjoy the sights of the city. However you approach the Soldier Challenge, the spirit of the event is to embrace teamwork – a mantra that has delivered a successful fundraising event for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.”
All participants departed from an event village in the former international terminal of London’s Waterloo station in waves during the morning of Saturday 19 May. After four hours of completing as many challenges as possible, returning competitors are welcomed by live bands, a bar, and military hardware such as logistics equipment and weapons on display to whet the appetites of anyone interested in the Army or role of soldiers.
Spectators have also been involved and donated to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity at all of the checkpoint locations throughout central London.
For more information and to donate please visit www.soldierscharity.org.