Mike arrived at Craven Arms, Shropshire, eager to start the challenge. There were 90 4x4s taking part so three routes were coordinated, all ending at the same location, and at 2pm the event was on its way.
The route plan gave basic directions and required participants to answer questions on the way such as, ‘what colour are the Cats?’ This referred to the Caterpillar construction equipment, rather than Cat’s Eyes on the road. Unfortunately the challenge was called off due to the weather conditions.
On Friday Mike was given instructions to Bruntingthorpe Airfield. This is an ex-military air field which is now used as an aeroplane scrap yard. The task was to follow a route around and under various aeroplanes whilst spotting hidden code boards and ended in a rather wet wooded area.
Saturday started off with Mike being given directions to a secret location and having to be there within 45 minutes, he managed to get to the forest within the timescale. Once there he was given a map and grid references which marked turning points to keep him on the route, again spotting code boards, some were obvious others were hidden inside cattle grids.
There was one more location to find this time within three hours and had difficult terrain to boost the fun factor. Mike navigated this with minimal issues while a Land Rover 110 suffered a roll, thankfully there were no injuries.
Mike had one final task of the night to complete and headed 25 miles away and waited for darkness before entering the forest. He had to look for code boards and follow basic directions. This route took Mike to one of Wales’ largest wind farms which he described as majestic but eerie in the moonlight.
On Sunday, the final day, he re-ran the night section in reverse direction, with additional routes added. Mike said, “It was scary when you see the depth of the valleys that in the night you hadn’t known were there.” He then followed the instructions to the checkpoint at the finish line.
Mike arrived at the checkpoint at 1pm and had covered a total of 700 miles and raised, approximately, £700 for Macmillan Cancer Support.