The UK's Largest Off-Road Cycling Event was a great success
What an incredible day we had on Sunday 3rd October 2021
The weather was kind, the riders and volunteers were smiling and above all this incredible community event was able to take place following the covid pandemic, so that we could raise a huge amount of money for our charities.
A message from the chair of our Viking Challenge Committee
What a day we had yesterday - so many smiles, laughter and happy riders. Also the fact we were tidied up and getting in our cars at 5pm is just incredible - just as it started to rain as well!
Firstly, I wanted to thank you all, not just for yesterday, when you were all truly amazing, but also for your work the whole way through the year. The Viking Challenge is what it is, because everyone of you puts your heart and hard work into it. A big thank you as well to your partners, grandparents, family & children for supporting you whilst you put a considerable amount of time into the event.
The feedback we've had from the riders has been so positive - I've had riders emailing in and over 50 comments on facebook thanking us for putting on such an amazing event.
All the 120+ volunteers were outstanding:
- 60+ marshals who cheered the riders on for which they are incredibly grateful - their words of encouragement mean so much
- 3 site set up team - putting up gazebo's, dragging everything out the container and just doing whatever was needed
- 3 car park attendants arriving to welcome the first riders into the car park at 6.30am and never knowing what the field will be like
- 5+ route team battling wind, rain, putting signs up again when people took them down, finding keys for gates and then starting work at 5.30am to open them and then taking it all down at the end of the event
- 9+ food stops team, picking everything up, setting up and serving all it all with a big smile on their face, then clearing down and tidying up
- 2 recovery vehicles and the 3 teachers on the phone who worked together to get the riders back as quickly as possible if they needed help
- 5 start line team (teachers and a volunteer) at the front gate and helping to pen riders into the waves, all wearing their viking hats and smiling
- 5 finish line team - ringing the bell, congratulating riders, writing down times and holding onto the gazebo so it didn't blow away!
- 7 sweepers who make sure the route is clear, but more importantly who take their job as dressing up in viking outfits very seriously :-)
- 6 clear up team, to help the very tired committee, cleaning signs, taking out staples, tidying up and stacking the container and more. Not a glamourous job but so valued by us. Also shout out to the parents from the other academy schools that were marshalling but stayed to help tidy up despite not being asked.
- 3 teachers who packed 700+ bags of food Saturday morning
- 10+ children that helped throughout the weekend and who were amazing
- 2 T-shirt sellers, who not only bag up over 100 t-shirts for riders to collect, but also take numerous pictures for the riders and help out on site
- 1 person who typed up all the times, in record time as they are in my inbox (amazing work Sarah G)
- Last, but by no means least Paddy (picture below) who was on the front gates from 7.30am to mid afternoon on what was his 85th birthday!
Plus all our sponsors and support:
Eleri Tunstall - photography on the course and coming back onsite.
Cafe Allez - for the best coffee in the vale.
David from no two wheels for providing on site bike services and arriving at 6.30am to help us set up.
Punk'd protein for donating 300 flapjack bars and 800+ protein bars.
Belvoir Fruit Farm for donations 750 cans of presse, plus cordial and drinks for the volunteers
Tesco for donating crisps, cordial and more.
Marco from The Anchor in Plungar for sourcing the sausage rolls for us and charging us the cost price only.
St Johns Ambulance who provided great first aid on the day the London marathon was on (they had to drive round and pick up equipment from 5+ sites across the east midlands).
Special thanks to all our riders for turning up and supporting us once more.
SUNDAY 2nd OCTOBER 2022
Keep the date free...we'll be busy planning this years event soon!
The Viking Challenge marks a major event every year in the school's calendar - it is our primary fundraising activity.
Taking place on the first Sunday in October, this fantastic off-road cycling challenge raises essential money for our school, and a chosen charity, through sponsorship and generous donations.
Are you up for the Challenge? Click on our video below to see if you dare.
How The Viking Challenge Started
In 1995, the staff and parents of Redmile School decided to create one fundraising event (rather than having lots of small ones across the school year). They came up with the idea of a cycle ride using the local section of the Viking Way, an ancient trackway originally linking Newark and Stamford.
In the first year 98 cyclists completed the circuit, raising £580 – and so The Viking Challenge was born. However, no one could have guessed then just how big it would get.
The Viking Challenge Today - An Event to be Proud Of
Off they go!
Now celebrating its 27th year, the Viking Challenge:
- attracts over 1,250 riders from all over the country
- is one of the UK's largest amateur off road cycle events
- has had over £530,000 donated for the school and our charity partners since it began in 1995
- requires over 170 volunteers
- serves nearly 2,000 cakes, 1200 bananas, 1500 flapjacks, 1800 pork pies and
2000 chocolate bars to keep cyclists fuelled up on the way round; not forgetting the soup and rolls at the finish!
The event is open to everyone, young and old, teams and individuals, both serious and fun cyclists. The combination of the serious physical challenge with our warm hospitality has proven to be a winning formula; with riders and volunteers coming back year after year. We now welcome e-bikes too!
Taking in the fabulous Vale of Belvoir countryside riders have access to a route not usually accessible to the general public and with lots of well-stocked refuelling stops along the way – our cakes (mostly baked by parents connected with the school) are almost as famous as the challenge itself – it really is a unique cycling experience.
Making a Big Difference...
...to our school
Our small village primary school benefits enormously from the funds raised through the Viking Challenge.
In recent years, the opportunities to enrich the curriculum have been immense with weekly Spanish, swimming, dance and music lessons, visiting dancers and puppeteers and many school trips...just a few of the activities funded by monies raised.
Over the years, it has also funded larger projects such as:
- a new learning resource area for small groups to work in.
- IT equipment used by pupils, including iPads and laptop computers.
- the creation of a cooking room.
- a new storage shed for PE equipment.
- resourcing our new classroom.
- developing the playground area.
- creating a quiet area.
- the assault course and developing the Early Years outdoor learning area.
...to Charity partners, both local and national
Each year we choose a charity partner to whom half of the total monies raised are given. Often the charity is suggested by the children, a parent, or local resident who work with to promote and run the event, as well as visiting school to help children learn and families develop greater awareness of life experiences.
Some of the charities that have benefited include: REACH, PASICS, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, National Meningitis Trust, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Leukaemia Research Fund, Mencap, NSPCC, Macmillan Cancer Relief, Help the Hospices, When You Wish Upon A Star, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and The Kinder Trust.
The Viking Challenge Committee
A team of enthusiastic volunteers including parents and villagers, past and present, the Executive Head teacher from the school and a charity representative form the Viking Challenge Committee and are responsible for the organisation of each year's event. We are always looking for new teammates!
If you are interested in joining the committee, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Want to know more? Please visit our dedicated website:
www.vikingchallenge.org.uk (external link).
A few Viking challenge 'facts' to pique your interest:
- Years running - 27!
- Volunteers for marshalling - over 170
- Cakes eaten to date - 70,000!!! (at least!)
- Amount donated to charity - over £530k
- Km's cycled - over 2.1 million km
- Metres climbed - 9.5 million metres
To enter please click here.
Our Mini-Viking Challenge
Each year, just before the main event, pupils of the school are invited to take part in a miniature version of the event with the children using the school playing field for their ‘off-road’ adventures. Whether they are cycling, scootering or pushing/pulling a wheeled toy , each child gets to experience their own challenge and are always rewarded with drinks and cake.
They also get to wear their own Viking Challenge T-shirt.
We are famous for our delicious cakes
We are famous for our delicious cakes
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VikingChallenge (@VikingChallenge)
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/viking_challenge/?hl=en (@viking_challenge)
Sunday 6 October 2019
The Viking Challenge marks a major event every year in the school's calendar, especially as it is our primary fund raising activity.
Taking place on the first Sunday in October, the off road cycling challenge raises essential money for our school, and a chosen charity, through sponsorship and generous donations.