Planning that 2018 challenge

Nothing is as important as planning that 2018 challenge. Seriously, just think for 5 minutes about what you and others get from these little feats we achieve each year; the charity money raised, weight lost, the fitness gained, fun you had and even the habits that you’ve altered.

So, over the past two weeks, when people traditionally get together, I spent my time getting advice, gaining opinions and doing the background research to find out what and where we’ll head for this years’ challenge after the success of our Yorkshire Dales 3 Peaks challenge last year.

Breaking it Down

The Planning process should serious – but should be part of the fun too!

Like every important decision, the key is to break it down. The decision itself has to be manageable.
• Who should come?
• Where should it be?
• When should it be?
• What should it be?

Process is fun

I’m a big researcher as well as a fastidious project manager, so any and all of these questions are fun for me to work on and even more fun to refine into a process. But why should they not be fun for everyone else too? So this is how I used a brief break from map selling to create a plan-fest for the team.

Who should come

All good plans begin in good company and in the right frame of mind. Where better than a Curry house with last years team and their other halves? A great occasion to float ideas, get some feedback and consider each over a few Kingfishers. It was also to expand the team by inviting those we thought may benefit as we did last year.

Where should it be

Advice came from many sources including some real veterans!

This question is the next priority! It’s lucky that the last couple of weeks had brought me in touch with members of the Geographical Association, A Silver Wolf Scout District leader and an adult outdoors trainer for our Local Authority. There’s great advice from sites like Stotties Walks. Finding the best places for a 2 day challenge was easy in this company. Sharing it with the team at the Curry-house let us consider these well qualified options.


Having partners on the curry night was helpful, but really on that evening we could get no further than deciding it would be somewhere between April and July, avoiding half terms and holidays and other events in the year. The next stage was to float a single date that appeared to meet most criteria. The next stage will be down to poll and discussion… probably via WhatsApp and Doodle’s scheduling tools.

What will it be

What should the challenge be? We considered a few criteria questions, like how long should it take? What time can we take out? What could we all do? How far do we want to travel to get to the start?

Defining the challenge

After this process we ended up with the below outline challenge description.
• A 2 day challenge
• Probably walking (really the one thing we knew all the team could do)
• Involving big hills
• Within a 4 hour drive of most of us
• Slightly more challenging than the 3 Peaks
• The whole event centred in one place so there’s no driving between locations

The conclusion

For us this now looks like a 2 day walking challenge based in Edale in the Peak District, covering sections of the Pennine way, Lady Bower lake. Day 1 challenge is up to 26 miles, Day 2 a shorter walk for those that want and a range of alternative activities in the area for those with blisters!

What about yours?

Perhaps you’d draw the same conclusion? Maybe we’ll see you there. It’s now time to add flesh to the bones. I’ll be using those experts and more desk based research following pages like Stotties Walks and some of our outdoors affiliate partners. Hope you’ll enjoy following our 2018 challenge as it develops!

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