Make your New Year's resolution extreme with Mencap
Friday 24 December 2010
If your New Year's resolutions are to get fit, challenge yourself and support an excellent cause, look no further than joining Mencap's extreme team and take part in one of the events offered for 2011.
The learning disability charity is leading the way in the UK for extreme event fundraising by encouraging supporters to take part in some of the most challenging and breath-taking endurance fitness tests on earth. From ultra-marathons in deserts to intense cycling challenges, the extreme team will be visiting some of the wildest, remotest and harshest corners of the globe.
Not for the fainthearted, Mencap supporters can take part in the Gobi March in China's Xinjiang Province or the Atacama Crossing in Chile on a six-day, 250km trek in two of the hottest places on the planet. For those who need a bit more time to prepare, Mencap are now recruiting for the 2012 Marathon des Sables, a self-sufficient, six-day, 240km race in the Sahara Desert - dubbed the toughest foot race on earth.
If you're interested in challenging yourself a little closer to home why not try the Jurassic Coast or Atlantic Coast challenges and complete three marathons in as many days along the wild English coastlines of Dorset or Cornwall. Mencap also has two set group skydiving dates for 2011 in Oxford and Maidstone if jumping out of a plane has always been on your ‘must do' list.
Mencap supporter Stephanie Brimacombe went to the extreme in May 2010 when she and her team won the Polar Challenge which saw her face -70 degree weather, frost-bite and the threat of polar bear attacks in the ten-day race to the North Pole.
Stephanie, who was the fastest woman ever to complete the race, said: "Competing in the Polar Challenge was definitely the most challenging task I have faced yet. I really had to push myself to the limit both mentally and physically.
"It took a lot of preparation but it was all worth it and we were able to raise £49,000 to help Mencap support people with a learning disability. I've got a taste for extreme racing now and plan to complete the John O'Groats to Land's End cycle challenge in 2011 and the South Pole marathon in 2012 to raise more funds for Mencap."
Mencap also has a number of events throughout the year for those less inclined to go to extremes but who still want a challenge. These include the Mencap Mile, a mile open water swim held at the 2012 Olympic venue at Dorney Lake, Windsor, and places in the Virgin London Marathon, Bupa Great North Run and the Bupa London 10,000.
Ellie Gray, Mencap's director of fundraising, comments: "Getting involved in an event to raise money for Mencap offers an experience of a lifetime. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability to have the same rights and choice as everyone else, to live their lives free from fear of abuse and hate crime and to live as independently as possible.
"We have a variety of events for every level of fitness and daring, but you can also choose your own event and raise money for Mencap. With plenty of training support and expert fundraising advice, we offer the assistance to help you stick to your resolution."
For more information on all the events on offer and how you can get involved visit www.mencap.org.uk/events
For further information, please contact Jessica Strudwick in the Mencap media team on 020 7696 5414 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Out of hours please call 07770 656 659.