On an overcast Saturday in April, somewhere deep in the beautiful Hampshire countryside, three members of the Blue Sky team, led by our dear little Blue Sky bear, braved freezing water and deep, thick, mud to became fully fledged ‘Rough Runners’!
The course, a mix of obstacles such as sweeper arms, zip lines, monkey bars and other challenges, is inspired by television game shows such as Total Wipeout, Takeshi’s Castle and Gladiators, finishes with either a 10km or 15km run.
We are so proud of our three people; Sophie Barton (who had the important duty of looking after the bear), Matt Ward and Ed Thompson, all of whom, despite soaking wet and cold managed to complete the 15km run, meeting up on the finishing line to collect their medals.
“We could choose to run the course either as a challenge for ourselves, or to raise money through sponsorship” explains Ed, Duke of Edinburgh Programme manager and Participation Co-ordinator. “I chose to use it as my Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Challenge and asked friends and family to sponsor me. Blue Sky was the first independent fostering agency to deliver the Duke of Edinburgh award to foster children and we have all benefitted from their tremendous support, so the sponsorship money will help to continue to deliver the award to the amazing young people we work with.”
After the event, Matt said: "The Rough Runner was by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Training for the event was admittedly last minute and feeble, prior to the race I had never run further than 5 miles. The realisation of this on the morning of the event sparked slight apprehension but nevertheless we did it! Completing the full 15km as a team made me feel so proud, even the full-body muscle ache and exhaustion couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for the rest of the weekend. I know I wouldn’t have made it round without my awesome colleagues by my side. Sophie and Ed’s encouragement, support and good humour kept my legs moving!"
Throughout the whole challenge, Ed wore a headcam, recording every bump, knock, fall and soaking! Watch Ed’s edited highlights of a man’s-eye view of the day!