Ultra Challenge 2024

Gearing up for Greatness: Team Paradise Prepare for the Ultra Challenge

Team Paradise are gearing up for an adventure of a lifetime. Next weekend they will be taking on the monumental Jurassic Coast Ultra Challenge, walking non-stop day and night to complete the 100km hike within the 24-hour time limit to raise funds for the NSPCC. This challenge, taking place on 18-19 May, will be the ultimate test of physical and mental endurance. The route, which has an elevation of 2300 metres will take them past Corfe Castle, Durdle Door and across Chesil Beach to the finish line in Bridport. 

Preparing for the Challenge

A horse standing in front of a fence in a muddy field.The team have been regularly training hard for the Ultra Challenge. Ashley and Alex recently completed an eventful 50km walk in the Peak District that involved navigating precarious slopes, trekking through muddy terrain and befriending horses along the way. "We came across a horse blocking our way into a field," says Ashley, "but luckily Alex the horse-whisperer was able to befriend it and got it to move out the way!" 

As well as regular group walks, the team have their own solo training regimes as well. Robert stresses that even if you can't fit in a long walk, it's important to keep active when you can. "Going to football and rock climbing every week is helping me stay in good shape for the challenge," he says.

Alex has also been training for a half-marathon which he recently completed in a whopping 1 hour 45 minutes. He says, "With only one week left until the challenge, not only do you have to stay active but you have to get into the right mental headspace to take on an event like this".

Let's catch up with the team to see how they're feeling about the upcoming challenge. 

What have you learnt during your training that will help you during the Ultra Challenge?

Alex: While doing the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge a few months ago, we learnt that it’s important to keep the right pace throughout the whole walk. Being too slow at the beginning could mean extra hours at the end, so it’s important not to fall behind at the start.

Alex and Ashley standing on a hill during their walk in the Peak District.Gareth: Several of us suffered knee injuries during the Yorkshire event, which unfortunately meant we couldn’t finish the walk. If any of us are injured during the Ultra Challenge, we have the responsibility to decide whether we should keep going or stop. It would be disappointing to have to drop out early as we've all been training really hard for this, but you ultimately have to put your health and safety first. 

Rachmann: I agree, and since this is a challenge with a time limit, none of us wants to potentially slow the team down if we get injured so you have to decide whether to call it quits or go at a slower pace and let the team carry on without you. At the end of the day, you have to put safety first in an event like this. 

What do you think the hardest part of the challenge will be?

Robert: The hardest part of the challenge will probably be when we have to walk past the pubs and not be able to sit down and enjoy a pint. I might have to get one to take away. 

Ashley: I imagine the most physically and mentally challenging part will be at night when your body wants to sleep but you have to keep pushing. 

The Ultra Challenge is a monumental test of physical and mental endurance. What will keep you motivated throughout the 24 hours?

A hand holding a can of Pringles and a Redbull drink.Alex: My friend in Australia has promised to video call me when it's nighttime for us to keep us talking through the night! Otherwise, pringles.

Gareth: I’ll be motivated thinking about the hot meal I’m going to have at the end!

Rachmann: Even though the route is very hilly and challenging, there’ll be some fantastic scenery along the way which will be a welcome distraction. 

Robert: I’m relying on Pringles and Tangfastics!

Ashley: It's a cheesy answer, but pushing myself to achieve something I've never done before!

Crossing the Finish Line

We’re so impressed with the dedication and enthusiasm that Team Paradise have approached this challenge with. We wish them the best of luck and the best of weather for next weekend!

As well as their commitment to their training, the team have been working hard to fundraise for the NSPCC. We’re immensely grateful to everybody who has been kind enough to donate and share our posts, your support helps the NSPCC in their mission to end child abuse in the UK. 

The guys are so close to reaching their fundraising goal but they just need a little more to get over the finish line, so please consider donating if you haven't already, or sharing this post with your family, friends and network. Together, we can make a real difference! 

Make a Donation to Paradise's Ultra Challenge Fundraiser

Team Paradise group photo. Ash, Gareth, Alex, Rob, Rachmann hold NSPCC t-shirts.

If you’ve been inspired by Team Paradise’s journey and want to take on an Ultra Challenge yourself, you can find more information here.

The NSPCC provide vital services that support children across the country, including a helpline where adults can report instances of child abuse and receive guidance. Learn more about the NSPCC here. 

Read our previous Ultra Challenge blogs here

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