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Insane races you need to know about

Insane Adventure Races

The Go Ape folk love a good ol’ challenge. Just ask one of the five members of our tribe currently preparing for the Three Peaks Yacht Race, aka one of the toughest and longest endurance races in the world.

Our job is to encourage others to challenge themselves in order to discover their potential. Our Tree Top Adventures aren’t easy – they’re challenging, especially for people who don’t like heights. But, by rising up to challenges we allow ourselves to live our lives more adventurously and we grow and develop as people. As the saying goes: “Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes them meaningful.”

Adventure races

Growing tired of 5km park runs? Nailed numerous Tough Mudders and looking for something more, well, tough? We scoured the web and found some seriously insane adventure races guaranteed to push you to your very limits. The question is: Are you brave enough?

SDW100

Find marathons a doddle? How about running four of them back to back? The South Downs Way 100 is exactly that – a 100 mile race along the bridleways of the stunning South Downs. Competitors start just outside of Winchester and finish in Eastbourne, and have 30 hours to reach the finish line. A new course record was set in 2014 by Mark Perkins, who finished in an extremely impressive 14 hours, 3 minutes and 54 seconds.

Ring O’Fire

Picking up the pace some more, Ring O’Fire covers 135 miles of coastline around the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales. With the sea always in sight and the epic Snowdonia Mountain Range as a backdrop, runners cross everything from sandy beaches and tidal estuaries to dunes and farmers’ fields. The race is set over three consecutive days – but before you wipe that bead of sweat from your brow, that’s still a whopping 45 miles of ground to cover each day!

Bob Graham Round

Whilst notably shorter than other ultra-marathon events, the Bob Graham Round challenge is one of the highest of its kind. Set in the wondrous Lake District, the challenge comprises a 66 mile, 27,000 feet circuit of 42 of the highest peaks in the area, with runners having just 24 hours to complete it. It’s so tough, only one in three runners make it back…in time!

The Spine Race

Dubbed Britain’s most brutal race, the Spine Race is a 268 mile, non-stop winter challenge which sees competitors crossing the entire Pennine Way in just 7 days. The route encompasses the Peak District, Cheviots, Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Park, finishing on the Scottish Borders.

Competitors can expect to battle all weather conditions, from deep snow and ice to strong winds and torrential downpours. As the days pass, they’ll also find themselves dealing with extreme tiredness, fatigue and sleep deprivation. You’ll ache in areas you didn’t know you could ache – this one’s not for the faint-hearted.

Have you competed in any extreme adventure races? If so, share them with us – you never know, you might convince one of us to sign-up!

For more on the teams training efforts in the build up to the Three Peaks Yacht Race click here.

Meet Britain’s Best Sailors

Three Peaks Yacht Race

As you may have heard, five (bold/crazy) members of the Go Ape tribe have signed-up to take part in one of the world’s oldest, longest and toughest endurance races: the Three Peaks Yacht Race (#3PYR).

Collectively, the team will run 72 miles, cycle 18 miles, and sail a jaw-dropping 389 miles up the notoriously wet ‘n’ wild west coast. That’s some serious sea miles – but thankfully, team Go Ape has some highly-experienced sailors in its midst, who are ready to (quite literally) take the helm and sail the team to success! That is, if they’re able to control their seasickness when things get a little choppy…

In aid of #3PYR, we’re taking a look at some of Britain’s best boatmen and women. Sailors who have achieved things many of us can only dream of, and who are inspiring Jerome, Tris, Mike, Ed and Paul to train hard so they can get out there and show the land and sea who’s boss!

Dame Ellen MacArthur

Dame Ellen MacArthur shot to international sailing fame back in 2005 when she broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe, which she completed in 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds. Sailing alone, Ellen had to be on constant lookout and never had more than 20 minutes of sleep at any one time. That’s dedication.

Now retired from professional sailing, Dame Ellen dedicates her time to her two charities: the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which is focused on inspiring our generation to re-think, re-design and build a positive future circular economy.

Sir Ben Ainslie

It would be criminal not to give mention to Sir Ben Ainslie, aka, the most successful sailor in Olympic history. Sir Ben won four gold medals at four consecutive Olympic Games, and is the first person to bag five medals from five different sailing events.

Sir Ben started sailing at the ripe of eight, competing in his first race two years later and finishing in 73rd place. His next challenge – which he’s dubbed his ‘ultimate challenge’ – is to bring the America’s Cup back to Britain for the first time in around 165 years. He will head a team of some of the best British and international sailors in hope of winning the prestigious trophy.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

In 1969, English sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston became the first person to perform a single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation of the globe. And while most people are retired and ‘winding down’ aged 67, Sir Robin had other plans, sailing into the record books as the oldest yachtsman to compete (yet another) solo round-the-world trip in the VELUX 5 Oceans Race. Go Sir Robin!

John Merricks

John Merricks represented our country at Atlanta’s 1996 Summer Olympics, winning a silver medal in the 470 class with his teammate, Ian Walker. Sadly, Merrick died in a car accident in Italy in 1997, but his legacy lives on through the John Merricks Sailing Trust, of which Sir Ben Ainslie is the first patron. Over 16 years, more than £335,000 has been raised to help young sailors and youth sailing organisations achieve their goals.

Sarah Ayton

Sarah Ayton OBE has won two gold medals for sailing; the first during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and second during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. But, she’s not going to stop there: Sarah’s ambition is to add to her medal collection, and will be hoping her lucky red socks will help her do just that!

Think we’ve missed anyone out? Who would make your list of Britain’s best sailors?

Meet our Three Peaks Yacht Race team…

Ben Nevis - 3PYR

It takes a certain type of person to compete in the 3PYR – and we found five of them in the Go Ape tribe!

389 miles of sailing. 72 miles of running. 18 miles of cycling. The Three Peaks Yachts Race (3PYR) is one of the oldest, longest and toughest multi-sport endurance races in the world. Held once a year, it sees competitors battling the elements as they race up the UK’s coast, starting from Barmouth and finishing in Fort William.

Call them what you will (mad, crazy, bonkers), our fantastic five have been mega dedicated in the run up to the race and are (almost) ready to get out there, represent the Go Ape tribe and do us proud!

So without further ado, it’s time for some introductions…

Jerome Mayhew (Managing Director) Role: Sailor/skipper

Spending time in the open water is nothing new to Jerome, who grew up sailing dinghies. He moved on to bigger boats during his twenties, when he competed in offshore racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC). Jerome took a break from boating to have kids but now they’re older, he’s a helmsman once more and has bought Nimrod as a family boat.

Jerome Mayhew - Go Ape

The 3PYR has been on Jerome’s bucket list for a long time and will be his first offshore race for 20 years. He’s hoping sea-sickness doesn’t get the better of him…

Tris Mayhew (Chief Gorilla) Role: Sailor/ replacement runner

For Tris, Chief Gorilla, the 3PYR is the perfect race as it falls in line with Go Ape’s brand values: it encourages people to get out there, challenge themselves and live life adventurously! Nevertheless, Tris admits that he first turned down the offer of joining the team, and it took a good two weeks for Jerome to convince him to take part!

Tris Mayhew - Go Ape

In preparation for the race, Tris has been running 5 days (45 miles) a week since the start of the year, which has had the added benefit of trimming his waistline! He said that training has proved a real personal challenge and he’s found it tough juggling other commitments. Yet, he says that he’s enjoying ‘skilling up’ and is keen to master powerful spinnakers which scare him.

Tris tells us: “By the end of this at least I’ll know whether I like or loathe offshore sailing, so that I can either start planning to sail across the Pacific or strike it from my bucket list.”

Mike Rimmer (Site Manager at Crathes) Role: Runner

Hard work and dedication are two things Mike knows a lot about after a 31-year career working as an Aircraft Engineer for the Royal Air Force.

Mick Rimmer - Go Ape

Mike’s got an impressive running résumé, having competed in numerous marathon and ultra-running events such as Marathon des Sables (crossing the Sahara desert) and the Everest Marathon (the highest marathon in the world). He believes the 3PYR will be a great event to mark his 50th year!

Ed Smith (Construction Manager) Role: Runner

A keen runner and cyclist, Ed says that working for Go Ape has allowed him to test out some of the UK’s most beautiful trails. He never travels to a site without packing his bike and trainers in the van with him!

Ed Smith - Go Ape

Ed has recently started competing in triathlons and took part in his first half Ironman last September. He’s already competed in yacht racing with other member of the team, racing across the English Channel and around the Isle of Wight. He says that he’s eager to learn the ropes and help his team succeed. “It’s a true test of endurance and there’s no escaping the elements. Once it starts, there’s no resting ‘til Fort William!”

Paul Love-Williams (Head of Construction) Role: Sailing

Paul’s love for sailing was re-kindled back in 2012 when the Go Ape tribe went yacht racing in Port Solent to celebrate the company’s 10th birthday. Now, Paul is a regular offshore racer: he’s an active sailing member with Junior Offshore Group (JOG) and RORC, and has successfully completed two Rolex Fastnet races, one Rolex Sydney race and two RORC Caribbean 600 races. His favourite race to date is the Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race.

Paul Love-Williams - Go Ape

Paul’s a strong all-round sailor and will be keeping a close eye on navigation and tactics during the race. Commenting on the 3PYR he says: “It’s been on my list for a few years now. The sailing is very challenging and the unique mix of running, cycling and rowing should make it a superb race!”

The Go Ape team will be racing to raise money to help support the Outward Bound Trust. For every £200 raised, another young person from a disadvantaged background is able to experience the challenge of an Outward Bound course with potentially life changing results. To find out more about the trust, visit https://www.outwardbound.org.uk/.

If you want to donate to this fantastic cause and support our endurance racers, head to our Virgin Money Giving page.

#3PYR…Our Next Adventure

Go Ape Three Peaks Yacht Race

“What’s #3PYR?” we hear you ask, well, it’s only one of the toughest long distance races in the world!

At Go Ape, we live and breathe living life adventurously, so when the opportunity came up to compete we couldn’t say no. ‘#3PYR’ stands for the Three Peaks Yacht Race and is classed as one of the oldest and most remarkable multi-sport endurance races, making it the perfect challenge for Go Ape in 2016.

Established in 1977, the 3PYR is an annual race where competitors take on 389 miles of sailing, seventy-two miles of running and eighteen miles of cycling – what’s more, there are no engines involved. Relying on the elements and pure will and determination, teams must make their way up the west coast of the UK from Barmouth to Fort William.

So which of our bold and fearless Go Ape Tribe is crazy enough to sign up for the challenge?

None other than the courageous Jerome Mayhew (Managing Director), Tris Mayhew (Chief Gorilla), Paul Love-Williams (Head of Construction), Mick Rimmer (Site Manager at Crathes) and Ed Smith (Construction Manager). Together, the team of five will spearhead different elements of the race in a bid to conquer the three peaks from land and sea.

Three of the team will have a hand in manning the helm taking on 62 sea miles from Barmouth to Caernarfon, 100 sea miles from Caernarfon to Whitehaven and a further staggering 227 sea miles from Whitehaven to Fort William. In between two team members will climb the highest mountains in the UK by conquering Mt. Snowdon in Wales, Scafell Pike in England and Ben Nevis in Scotland – that’s the equivalent of running three marathons in as many days!

Check out the video below from the Three Peaks Yacht Race YouTube channel to get a glimpse at the gruelling challenge that lies ahead.

Fuelling the determination of the team will be knowing that their efforts are helping support the Outward Bound Trust charity. For every £200 raised another young person from a disadvantaged background will be able to experience the challenge of an Outward Bound course with potentially life changing results. To find out more about the amazing work that the Trust does at www.outwardbound.org.uk or if you can please dig deep and support our endurance racers by donating via Virgin Money Giving.

Next week, Meet the Team! We’ll give you the low-down on our 3PYR team, including their role within the race and what drives them to live life adventurously.

 

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