Staff Summer Challenges
Summer is just around the corner and our adventurous staff have plans to make the most of it! Whether it’s raising money for a worthy cause or pushing themselves to the limit our store teams are always actively pursuing some challenge or other. Here are a few of the things they’ll be doing this summer and if you like the sound of their adventure and want to know more then please get in touch.
Emma, Westfield Stratford
On 7th September I'll be taking part in the "Tour de Test Valley", a cyclo sportive in Grateley, Hampshire in memory of friend and pro snowboarder Nelson Pratt. Nelson died last summer and the event is to remember a true gentleman and to raise money for C.A.L.M. (Campaign Against Living Miserably), a charity working towards preventing male suicide in the UK (in 2011 76% of suicides in England and Wales were men). The event itself is aimed at all ages and levels of ability with 3 choices of route: 40K, 80K and 160K. I will be going for the 80K route on my retro pink Raleigh Prima bike (she's not up to doing 160K!), It's not a race so can be done at a leisurely pace with family or as a chance to beat a PB. If you'd like to take part, please do!! The more the merrier!"
Chris, Retail Director
As well as managing a busy work schedule and a child who is certainly deep into his terrible twos, I will be trying to maintain my sanity while taking on the infamous L'Etape Du Tour for a third time. Following in the wake of the peloton, I will take on a huge mountain stage of the Tour de France on closed roads. In addition to this I will be taking part in a 3km open-water swim and finishing off the summer with the Gauntlet Half Iron Man - one day I may have time to train for a full one!
Martin, Aviemore Manager
This summer Martin will be running 'The Wall' to raise money for Parkinson's. It's a race alongside Hadrian's Wall, starting from Carlisle Castle and making its way to Gateshead Millennium Bridge over a mixed terrain route of approx 70 miles with a time limit of 24 hours. Four years ago I didn't run a step, now I've completed two Ultra's, three Marathons, five half Marathons and a load of 10k's! The problem with running further is the time it takes to train, it gets hard to fit it all in with a full time job and family, but so far the best answer I've found is getting up at 5:30 each day to make the day last longer. At the moment I'm training in the hills but winter hasn't given up and it's still a case of running through the snow and it's supposed to be May!
Justyna, Milton Keynes
My first challenge of the summer is to get married (Polish style), then head off on our honeymoon to a few western Balkan countries. We'll be exploring Albania and Macedonia and Montenegro; hoping to see cities, mountains, lakes, and of course a few beaches. We’ll be packing the running shoes too, as we'll be in training for the Oxford Half Marathon which is soon after our return.
Stephen, Kensington High St
I’ve not got one but 3 adventures planned for this summer:
- Cycle from Saddleworth to London in under 14 hours and then fly to Paris to watch the end of the Tour De France.
- I am currently training for the Virgin London Triathlon and will be competing in that at the end of July.
- I will also be taking part in the Epic route of the Mendips Sportive 91 mile ride which includes cycling 2 gorges, Burrington Coombe and Cheddar Gorge.
Mark, Marketing Director
Previous summer challenges for Mark have included climbing Mont Blanc, the Three Peaks Challenge and Kilimanjaro but this summer is an altogether different challenge. "On the 21st July I’ll be stepping into the Thames to participate in the 2.25 mile Hampton Court Open Water swim. Swimming is not a strength of mine (no doubt that will be evident on the day!) but it's all for a good cause raising money for a childrens charity, Smile With Siddy.
Mark, St Paul's
This September Mark and a friend will be cycling from John O'Groats to Lands End, camping along the way. Mark says, "I'm only really a city cyclist and a festival camper, so it'll be a bit of a shock to the system - but it will give me a great opportunity to properly test all the new gear I’ve accumulated! In my kit bag will be a The North Face Big Fat Frog 2 tent, A Rab Spark jacket, The North Face Circadian pants, Osprey Talon backack, the Camelbak Antidote reservoir, Icebreaker baselayers, Salomon X Ultra Mid boots, and (hopefully) a Go Pro Black to record a few bits and bobs! If all goes well (and I survive) I'm hoping to be doing the same the following year - but from one end of the America to the other!".
Ben Ankers, Fort William
Ben is a climber, canoeist and all round adventurous spirit! He has a few things in the pipeline this summer for this summer: Paddle the Caledonian Canal in a Canadian canoe in 24 hours being one of them. "I did it as a first trip two years ago in two and a half days and now I'm just waiting for favourable weather - and a full moon for Loch Ness! I'm also hoping to do the Yorkshire Three Peaks run (outside of the race date) so even if we're slow, we won't be last! And finally, hopefully, I'll be pedalling around the Dolomites on the road bike taking in some of the world-famous passes...and pastas. Here's to a glorious summer!"
Andi has been volunteering in a nomadic nature camp for kids for over twelve years in Hungary, held at a different location each year in the mountains. The primary goal is to encourage children to be comfortable and enjoy the outdoors as well as instill a conscious responsibility towards the earth. "The children learn about plants, animals, minerals, geological formations and phenomena and the cultural history of the region on a different hike each day with guidance from specialists (mostly university students) and they also spend one day cooking for the whole camp, helping and learning at our nomadic-style kitchen that we dig out of the ground. By volunteering here I can make a difference in educating the next generation."
Mike will be heading out on a 100 mile hike in June on the Cleveland Way in Yorkshire. They’re aiming to complete it in 4-5 days.