The motivation to get in shape and stay healthy has become more of a team effort as fitness challenges and charity sporting events have surged in number. Hundreds of opportunities are available throughout the UK, allowing you to challenge yourself as you run, hike, swim or cycle, while helping to raise money and increase public awareness of worthy causes.
Challenging yourself for a good cause
Training for a charity sporting event is a reward in and of itself. The preparation time gives you a great chance to meet fellow athletes of all skill levels, and as the event date approaches you’ll feel an even greater motivation to go further so that you succeed in the competition and bring more attention to the charity you have chosen to compete for.
Aptly named, the Tough Mudder challenge is one of the most intense sporting challenges you can complete. These hard-core obstacle courses, covering up to 16 miles, are classified as mud run events, and you are likely to spend most of your time crawling, climbing and wading through substantial amounts of that particular substance. Tough Mudder challenges are all about teamwork and the obstacles throughout the course encourage you to work with others to complete them successfully. Working together and overcoming fears are a key part of every Tough Mudder event. Tough Mudder events worldwide are associated with veterans’ charities, including Help for Heroes in the UK and Wounded Warrior Project in the US.
Hike and bike for charity
Whether you enjoy hiking or cycling, you are sure to find an intense and satisfying competition going on somewhere in the UK. With so much challenging terrain, from mountains to moors, you can find something to suit your current skill level, or you can up you training and attempt something more difficult to benefit a great charitable cause.
The 65 Roses Spring Classic sends you cycling through the Yorkshire countryside. No big hills for this contest, but the winding lanes offer plenty of bumps along the way to test your cycling mettle. You follow one of two routes split into 12 sectors, and finish at a breakfast, all to raise funds and awareness for cystic fibrosis.
Another charity bike ride is the London to Reading Bike Ride. Benefiting the British Heart Foundation, this cycling event covers a 40-mile route around the outer areas of London and out into the countryside, ending at the busy town of Reading.
Experienced hikers, and those willing to truly challenge themselves, can raise some money to fight poverty by participating in the Ben Nevis Challenge. The tallest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis offers plenty of difficulty for hikers of any experience level. Turn2Us, a charity fighting poverty throughout the UK, is associated with the Ben Nevis Challenge.
Charity sporting and fitness challenges are all about motivation, encouraging others to step up with support as you step up and challenge yourself physically. Whatever your skill level, you can find a marathon, a very taxing triathlon, water race, or other endurance event that allows you to give back while staying fit and making new friends.