|We are frequently asked similar questions about different aspects of the challenge so we thought it would be a good idea to save some time and answer them below.If you have any suggestions, questions or simply wish to find out more, please get in touch.|
• What boots should I wear?
• What clothing should I wear?
• What safety equipment has to be carried?
• What type of rucksack should I use?
• Do I have to carry the weight?
• What is the best way to make up the weight?
• What happens if it rains?
• Will food be provided during the race?
• Will water be provided during the race?
• Why do the races start so early!?
• What accommodation is provided at Okehampton Camp?
• Do I have to raise £500 for your supported charities?
• How can I best prepare for the Challenge?
• Do I need a GPS?
• I wont`t be able to participate but I would like to make a donation instead - how can I do this?
• Are there any age restrictions for the Chara Challenge events?
Q: What boots should I wear?
The boots should provide ankle protection to prevent ankle injuries caused by uneven ground. Waterproof boots have many advantages but they are not essential and, more often than not, water will get over the top of the boots when crossing bogs and streams. Multi-activity shoes are adequate but they do not support the ankle – racing in multi-activity shoes is possible but it won`t be pleasant! Trainers are not acceptable as they do not provide sufficient support to the foot and they will be ruined by the gorse.
Q: What clothing should I wear?
A: What is required will depends on the weather! There is no need to spend a lot of money on the latest kit. The trousers should provide a degree of protection for the legs from the heather and rocks encountered on the route. The fabric that the trouser is made from is key so trousers with high cotton and/or polyester contents should be avoided (jeans and tracksuit bottoms are not appropriate). Ron Hills, trekking pants, etc, are appropriate. Shorts should only be worn if there is a very low probability of rain. Shirts that wick away moisture are ideal and participants should employ the layering principle to regulate their body temperature. Socks are important and it is worth spending a little bit of money on a good pair of socks. If it is sunny then a hat is important.
Q: What safety equipment has to be carried?
A: Each individual must carry:
• Warm hat and gloves
• Spare socks
• Waterproof jacket
• Fleece type top
• Water (minimum of two litres)
• Map (supplied)
Each team must carry:
• Space blanket or large heavy guage polythene bag
• Sleeping bag
• Sleeping mat
• First aid kit
Q: What type of rucksack should I use?
A: Any rucksack of greater than 40 litres will be sufficient to carry personal safety stores and the required weight. For the team member carrying the team safety stores something larger will be necessary. Of more importance that the type of rucksack is how the rucksack is packed and there will be a demonstration of how to do so on the evening before the race at Okehampton Camp.
Q: Do I have to carry the weight?
A: It depends. If you want to compete in one of the races then you have to carry the weight. However, if you are participating to challenge yourself then carrying the weight is optional. Individuals have to carry water, some food and mandatory safety equipment whether they are racing or not.
Q: What is the best way to make up the weight?
A: There are a number of options. A low cost option is to buy a bag of compost or top soil from a garden centre, wrap it in cling film to prevent water ingress, and then carry it in a rucksack packed so that it is pinned upright against the back of the carrier. This has the avantages of being cheap and the weight is relatively low volume which makes it easier to carry efficiently. I have seen people use bricks, weights, books, etc, to make up the weight but it is very difficult to pack these items in a way that prevents them from rattling around very uncomfortably. Safety stores are considered to be part of the total weight.
Q: What happens if it rains?
A: We get wet! The 2009 event started under beautiful clear skies but five hours later the rain was falling sideways and mist had reduced visibility to a couple of hundred meters. Participants should come prepared for all types of weather and that is why we have specified the carriage of waterproof tops, hats, gloves and fleeces.
Q: Will food be provided during the race?
A: No. Teams should carry their own snacks to sustain them during the race. Nuts, sultanas, bananas, sandwiches and chocolate are all appropriate. We will provide dinner on 7 Aug 10 and breakfast and a post-race BBQ on 8 Aug 10 for all competitors. Supporters should bring their own food or buy food from the vendors at the race reception.
Q: Will water be provided during the race?
A: Yes. Competitors should carry at least two litres of water on their person. This can be replenished at two checkpoints during the race.
Q: Why do the races start so early!?
We have to ensure that, should there be an emergency or someone gets lost, that we have the maximum amount of daylight to effect a rescue. That is why we have a cut-off time of 1500 for the Chara 30. We have a mass start to ensure that everyone can take part in the Remembrance Service and to generate the best possible event atmosphere.
Q: What accommodation is provided at Okehampton Camp?
You will be allocated a bed in one of the huts or a cot in the hangar or a tent. We ensure that teams are grouped together. You are welcome to bring your own tent or camper van/caravan (there are no services available for connection to a camper van/caravan).
Q: Do I have to raise £500 for your supported charities?
No. If you pay your entry fee then you have a place in the race. However, the purpose of the Chara Challenge is to raise money for those charities that have a proven record of providing benevolence services for our wounded comrades and the dependants of the fallen. Once you start fundraising it is not that hard to raise £500, particularly if you adopt an unconventional approach. Last year the average sponsorship per participant was £707.
Q: How can I best prepare for the Challenge?
A sound race strategy, high levels of physical fitness and mental endurance are essential if you aim to complete the Challenge. Advice on physical training can be found here
. You either have mental endurance or you don`t!
Q: Do I need a GPS?
A GPS is not a requirement, although you can use one if you`d like to. Unless you`re planning on being a front-runner, the chances of getting lost are very slim, as you can simply follow the crowds ahead.
Q: I wont`t be able to participate but I would like to make a donation instead - how can I do this?
The Chara Challenge has established a Chara Challenge Justgiving page
to enable people to contribute directly to The Chara Challenge Fund. All funds raised through this means will go to SSAFA. Donating through the Chara Challenge Justgiving page
is quick, easy and totally secure. It`s also the most efficient way to donate. The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) gets your money faster and if you`re a UK taxpayer, Justgiving makes sure 25% in Gift Aid, plus a 3% supplement, are added to your donation.
Q: Are there any age restrictions for the Chara Challenge events?
Our age requirements are as follows:
a) Minimum: For the Chara 30 all participants must be 18 years of age or older. For the Chara 15 participants must be 10 years of age or older. All participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult who is responsible for the child/team`s welfare.
b) Maximum: There is no upper age limit for any of our events. Each participant must take into consideration their own ability level before registering for an event, and we do not consider age to be an indication of anyone`s ability level.
If you have any suggestions, questions or simply wish to find out more, please get in touch.