The challenge will raise much needed money for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund (RMCTF). The RMCTF is the Royal Marines charity, helping our wounded and injured, particularly those that have been most severely injured, to begin their transition back into civilian life; quite simply, the RMCTF will help when others cannot. The RMCTF will also help those still serving and facing successive tours in high threat environments – providing adventure training for those returning from operations, funding homecoming events, financing memorials and maintaining our heritage.
The challenge is broken down into 5 distinct phases, 4 of which will cover distances in excess of 1664 kilometers (1034 miles).
The challenge will begin in Norway on the 4 February 2014. From close to the Russian border, 400 km north of the Arctic Circle, Royal Marines will ski 1664 km south to Stavanger, crossing some of the most inhospitable terrain in Europe. Averaging a marathon a day on ski’s, and carrying their full survival kit, they will cross the Finmark Plateaux and Ligen Alps in north Norway, and then traverse the Douvrefjell, Jotunheimen and Hardangervidda in south Norway. On the 3 April 2014 they will arrive in Stavanger.
Here they will immediately board a Joint Services Challenger 67 yacht and sail 1664 nautical miles south around Europe to Cadiz. Traversing the northern coast of Europe, they will sail down through the English Channel, south along the coast of France, Spain and finally through the Bay of Biscay. They will arrive in Cadiz on the 30 Apr 14.
Swapping yacht for bikes, they will immediately turn north and cycle 1664 km through Europe to the English Channel. Averaging 100km a day, they will cycle across Spain, over the Pyrenees into France and then via Bordeaux to the English Channel.
On the 21 May they will board kayaks and paddle for 30 hours across the Channel.
Finally, on the 26 May, the team will begin the last phase of the challenge. From the Royal Marines Museum in Portsmouth, the team will run a total of 1664km or 1034 miles around England and across Scotland. Passing though major towns and cities including Exeter, Plymouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Deal and Reading, they will average 18 miles per day for a total of 58 days. Along the way the aim will be to involve as many serving and retired Royal Marines as possible; the whole Royal Marines family will get involved. During the run, the challenge team will visit as many Royal Marines Units and Royal Marines Association locations in southern England as possible. The run and the challenge will culminate on the 25 July 2014 with a Corps RM 350 celebration moonlight marathon around the City of London finishing just prior to the start of the Royal Marines parade through the city.
The outline timeline is as follows:
8 Jan – 3 Feb 14. Training and preparation.
4 Feb – 3 Apr 14. Ski north to south Norway.
6 Apr – 30 Apr 14. Sail Norway to Cadiz.
2 – 20 May 14. Cycle from Cadiz to Normandy.
21/22 May 14. Canoe across the English Channel.
26 May – 24 July 14. Run around England, Wales and Scotland.
25 Jul 14. RM 350 Corps Marathon.