Dream Challenges

Dream Challenges
Life Changing Events

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Been There Done Nevis.

Last Saturday, 20th June 2015, saw a staggering eighty eight team’s take part in our epic Ben Nevis Charity Challenge. This week many will be aching, buzzing from the adrenalin and some may even be thinking “Next year, oh yes, next year, we WILL be the fastest team”. For the past two years this exciting team challenge event, set in the stunning highlands, has been quick to sell out. So what is all the fuss about?

The Challenge…

Teams of four are challenged to climb Ben Nevis (1,343m) the UK’s highest mountain, cycle 25 miles through stunning Highland landscapes and canoe a 3km course on Loch Lochy. Lying in the shadow of Ben Nevis sits Fort William the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’. The event started here in the dramatic surroundings of both loch and mountain.

From Fort William it was onwards and upwards for the first part of the challenge – a trek to the summit of Ben Nevis. This year the summit had a touch of Everest about it with a layer of snow covering the ground.

What goes up must come down...

However, what goes up must come down. And so they did. All eighty eight teams. Here is what Eamon Francis from Team Delta Force said about the first part of the experience: 

“Really enjoyed it (we can say that now that we can walk again). The climb stage really caught us out, taking at least 2 hours more than we expected, we hadn't factored in the extra walk to and from the base of the mountain, and found the descent physically harder than the ascent, you live and learn, eh!? 
Thanks a lot to all of the Dream Challenges team, we all commented how nice, helpful, encouraging you ALL were, which really added to the experience. A very well organised event - well done to you all too!”

Once the teams had conquered Ben Nevis they made their way back to Fort William for a quick change into cycling gear ready for their second part of the challenge. A fifteen mile cycle to Loch Lochy.

As Team Craneware discovered, whilst doing a challenge, unexpected hitches crop up along the way: 

“Thanks to all at Dream Challenges.  The organisation and support were superb.  One of our guys had a burst bike tyre (not just inner-tube, the tyre too!) and needed bike pick-up and mechanical support – the speed and efficiency of the support was very impressive.”

Thank you to all our amazing Dream Challenges event staff. When there is competition in the air they are always on hand to ensure your unexpected “pit stop” is never too long.

Ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no valley low enough...
After climbing the highest mountain in the UK and cycling through stunning Highland countryside the teams arrived in Loch Lochy. A long, straight, fresh-water loch surrounded by steep forested hillsides. They took to Canadian canoes and paddled their way along the 3km course.

The final stage of the challenge is a 10 mile cycle to the finish line at Fort William. The route back followed the Caledonian Canal into Fort William. The majestic Caledonian Canal is considered by many as one of the greatest waterways of the world. As stunning as the route is, by this point, the team’s only had one sight in mind – the finish line.

Arriving first in seven hours and fifteen minutes the fastest team trophy was awarded to Character Builders South West Ltd. Hot on their heels Team AST completed in seven hours and forty nine minutes. Leaving third fastest team to Keep Attacking who did just that completing the challenge in eight hours and thirty one minutes. The fastest mixed team went to Vera 2 completing in eight hours and fifty minutes. 

Whilst the fastest all Female Team winners The Shamrock Roses completed in ten hours and forty two minutes. The final category ‘Golden Oldies’, which to qualify for you have to have a combined team age of one hundred and eighty years or more, went to Vera 1 who completed in nine hours.

We asked the fastest team Character Builders South West their thoughts on the day:

“Arriving in Scotland to the stunning scenery was mind blowing, the event made up for the mammoth 12 hour drive to get there! Loved spending time together as four brothers, working as a team outside of our family building business, it was like our very own mini tour de France and reminded us of childhood cycling memories.

Cramp was a low point, but being asked if we had bionic legs and if we did this professionally (which we don’t, we are builders) was amusing. On that note, our sons got things a bit muddled with one thinking Ben Nevis was a person and the other telling everyone we were climbing Everest.

When we reached the summit Tom did a handstand to secure a donation pledge from his gym club. This felt like a big moment!  A high point about the event was being able to raise money for a charity which is totally reliant on donations. I was airlifted myself after collapsing during a 10k race so wanted to raise enough money to 'pay back' my three thousand pound ride in the air ambulance. Ironically the day before being air lifted I was manning our trade stand at the local agricultural show where we raise money for Devon Air Ambulance. Little did I know 12 hours later I would be in it!! We have currently raised £3,421 with maybe a bit more to come.

All the people on the mountain - genuinely looking out for one another - anyone on the Dream Challenge team always had a kind word or positive encouragement for all participants. There was a really good vibe. Event was really well organised and managed throughout the day”

Congratulations a plenty…

The day ended with speeches, trophies and medals for each participant. Here is “Sister” Graham Wilde’s feelings on the event:

“You created a really positive and friendly atmosphere, whilst ensuring all the safety and practical elements were taken care of effectively. Briefings and presentation speeches were really well pitched - right balance of information and instruction without overloading or over-worrying people! Superb day out… still got very sore legs. Please pass on my thanks and congratulations to all involved in putting on this great event”.

The day was all wrapped up and as people started to leave there was one more thing to be done. Using fundraising updates, given on the day, Dream Challenges worked out that collectively around £250,000 has been raised for over fifty different charities. This money will help fight heart disease, research cures for cancer, support hospices across the country and save children’s lives. And those causes are just to name a few. We hope knowing this will be a good tonic to help with any aches. 

Another tonic is knowing that you can do it all again next year and we are excited to announce that registrations are now open for 2016, for more details visit www.actionforcharity.co.uk

A final big well done from all of us at Dream Challenges to all the teams who took part this year, please check out the event video below. And we hope to see you next year... 


Follow us on twitter @dreamchallenges #BeenThereDoneNevis or find us on Facebook Dream Challenges.
Wwww.actionforcharity.co.uk/index.php . E: events@dreamchallenges.co.uk T: 01590 646410

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