Out with the old and in with the new. 2015 is officially underway which means it’s time for our New Year’s resolutions to be put in to practice.
Every New Year we promise ourselves that in the upcoming 365 days, we will achieve something that will make ourselves better as people. Losing weight, becoming fit, learning to control that short temper or even just deciding to work harder. We make these resolutions with good intentions, maybe because we feel like we should, but the majority of the time we find these pledges turning into empty words.
2015 can be different. It’s easy to slacken the healthy eating and fitness regime after a couple of weeks but if you’ve got a challenge to work towards, giving up isn’t an option. With a variety of challenges, races and sports events happening all over the country, all year round, signing up to one of these experiences might just be the motivation needed to keep at our new year’s resolutions, and who knows, you might even end up enjoying it.
The selection of events in the UK is amazing so choosing an event that suits you isn’t hard. A lot of the challenges help raise money for charity which means as well as gaining a rewarding experience yourself, you can also help those in need.
There is no better time to start training, so here’s a list of some of the country’s best 2015 sport challenges.
Claiming to probably be the Toughest Event on the Planet, Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile obstacle course which not only tests endurance but strength and teamwork too. The event stresses that the idea of Tough Mudder is not your typical competitive race but a challenge which allows you to overcome your fears through camaraderie and good team work. With over 50 events worldwide, a Tough Mudder event is never out of reach, with some UK dates being held in Yorkshire, London, Dublin and Scotland. Official partners with Help For Heroes, the event allows you to raise funds and awareness for charity, as well as claiming that the experience will change your life.
National Three Peaks Challenge
If you’re looking to get yourself out into the great outdoors then the National Three Peaks Challenge is the event for you. Covering Scotland’s Ben Nevis, England’s Scafell Pike and Wales’ Snowdon, the challenge is to hike to the top of each peak within 24 hours. Not only does this event allow you to see the beautiful British countryside but is also physically and mentally challenging, climbing an uphill gradient of 3,407 metres in total.
Great North Run
First staged back in 1981 with only 12,000 people taking part, the Great North Run is now known as the world’s leading half marathon and has previously attracted a number of world-class distance runners such as Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe and Haile Gebrselassie. The half marathon consists of a 13.1 mile course from Newcastle upon Tyne to South Shields with 57,000 competitors running in the race in 2014. Last year’s run also took a place in history becoming the first International Association of Athletics Federations event in the world to welcome its millionth finisher. With the ballot now open, the event is the perfect opportunity to achieve something great for yourself and charity.
Claiming to be the UK’s fastest growing sport, the HSBC Triathlon is considered a festival of multisport, perfect for all audiences to promote healthy living to as many people as possible. Originating as a corporate event sponsored of course by HSBC, the triathlon also includes a ‘Scootathlon’ for children aged 4-8 years, who also want to be involved in the fun, making it a suitable challenge for families. Adults and teens can take part in swimming, biking and running events and for advice and training, elite athletes, specialists and coaches will be on hand to present triathlon seminars.
For the mother of all challenges which really is a life time achievement, the London Marathon will be holding its 35th event this April. Annually raising money for charities such as Oxfam and the Antony Nolan Trust, this year money is to be dedicated to Cancer Research UK. Since being established in 1981, the race has risen over £450 million for charity and holds the Guinness World Record as the largest annual fund raising event in the world. Typically 26 miles long, the road race takes runners on a flat course around the River Thames finishing alongside St James’s Park.
Up for a challenge? Training can start today. Let us know which sports challenge you think is the most rewarding.
By Sophie DiMauro