Phew – Charity Challenges Completed!

September has been a month of charity challenges for the Landform team. They got dirty and sweaty for a good cause.  Between them Mark, Catherine, Kate and Rhiannon have raised £4,949 for the charity Perennial. If you read our previous blog, you will know that the Office Girls went Nuts, but more of that later.

First let’s talk about Mark’s amazing challenge. Having already completed the Three Peaks Challenge in 2013 for the charity Perennial, Mark, who is a Perennial Partner Ambassador, was prepared to step up a gear (if you pardon the pun) for the next challenge.

Mark and Louise cycling through Devon on the tandem.

Mark and Louise cycling through Devon on the tandem.

If you read in our last blog, Mark teamed up with Louise in the Three Peakers Ride Again challenge, which saw 20 horticultural fellows cycle from Mount Snowdon to Lands End. The Peakers split into two groups, one group cycling off road, by tracks and trails, and the other group travelling by road. Cycling a total of 500 miles over 5 days, to put it into perspective – the group were covering an equivalent distance of the height of Mount Everest.

Mark admits he naively wanted to undertake the challenge on a 30 year old tandem he borrowed, with partner Louise, to complete their journey.

Mark commented: ”I completely underestimated the hills. The distances were manageable, but the hills were unbelievable and tough as the bike was so heavy. Co-ordination and riding together took some getting used to, but the whole set of difficulties just added to the sense of achievement at the end. To be honest I really enjoyed it, but we were glad once it was over as well. It really was a tough challenge!”
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Louise said of her experience: “The route was superb, as was the organisation and the whole team working together. Having no control at the rear of the tandem took some getting used to and the hills, especially the decents filled me with dread as they were steep and full of hazards that I had no control over. Overall I enjoyed the tandem. It was tougher than I had imagined, but we had a giggle with the group as well.”
Success in the finish! Mark & Louise at Lands End.

Success in the finish! Mark & Louise at Lands End.

Mark & Louise together with the other Three Peakers cyclists.

Mark & Louise together with the other Three Peakers cyclists.

I think Mark and Louise deserve a medal for undertaking that challenge. It must have been hard enough cycling solo, but cycling on a 30 year old tandem is testament to their dedication and determination. Well done! If you haven’t sponsored them yet – visit their sponsorship page here.
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And as if that wasn’t gruelling enough for the Landform Office team, our hardy perennials Catherine, Kate and Rhiannon completed the Go Nuts Challenge, also for the Perennial Charity. They teamed up with fellow landscapers Mark and Chris to tackle the famous muddy assault course as a part of HortAid 2016.
The Go-Nutters: Before and After.

The Go-Nutters: Before and a bit muddier after.

Kate said of her experience: “The Nuts Challenge was SO fun and SO gross. I enjoyed everything, but the ditches really pushed me out of my comfort zone. The plunge in was evil; cold and stinking and the climb out, nearly impossible. Thank goodness Mark B was there to heave us out the other side!! It’s certainly a fantastic team bonding exercise! I’d do it again and I think we should encourage a few more recruits to do it next year too!”
Kate plunging into a "ditch" with team mates, Chris & Catherine.

Kate plunging into a “ditch” with team mates, Chris & Catherine.

 Just a reminder about the charity: Perennial provides free and confidential advice, support and financial assistance to people of all ages working in, or retired from horticulture. This help extends to spouses, partners and children. It’s a really worthy cause – so if you haven’t sponsored them yet please visit the Office Girls’ sponsorship page here.