If 2020 taught us anything, it was to expect the unexpected, and plan for all eventualities. As thousands of our challengers know, that sadly meant cancelling most ‘physical’ Ultra Challenges in the calendar, and taking our community online, virtually – which allowed for us to continue to engage and challenge together during a very difficult and unsettling time.
Understandably as we move forward into 2021, and the ‘Covid-19’ landscape continues to evolve and change, many of our Challengers (and potential Challengers) are keen to know – what does this mean for each Ultra Challenge in the 2021 calendar and should I be training? Fundraising? Will they or won’t they go ahead? When will I know if my challenge will be happening? What would a socially distanced Ultra Challenge look like?
So to begin answering some of these questions, the fundamental timeframes laid out by the U.K. government around the easing of lockdown restrictions will be key in addressing each event an on individual basis, alongside the latest advice and specific legislation around outdoor sporting events, taking into consideration the local authorities and communities whom we work closely with. The next announcement is due on the 22nd February, and we anticipate further information which will affect directly our planned Winter Walk (27th March) & Easter 50 Challenge (10 April), once this information is available we will be able to communicate with all participants on these challenges with our forward plans. In the meantime, our team continue to plan and remain ever hopeful that these two challenges can go ahead, whilst also working through all contingencies.
The forward picture of our Ultra Challenge summer calendar looks ever more promising, and we are confident that this summer is going to be much busier than last! We believe all of our challenges will be possible to operate – although we do anticipate some changes to our format to keep everyone safe, and certainly ‘social distancing’ will be likely across the series. Quite what changes, amends and updates we need to make to our events, the format and how they will impact each individual event are yet to be finalised – as will largely depend on what levels of restrictions are in place, at any point in time. So we will continue to asses, adapt, and implement on timeframes of between 6-8 weeks prior to each event (unless an announcement by the U.K. government is scheduled sooner), and our top priority will be to keep all challengers updated & informed as we navigate our way through the coming months.
In September 2020, we were the 1st (and still only!) challenge company to operate a ‘Covid Secure’ & ‘Social Distanced’ event of this nature – it was a huge success, and many of the measures we implemented will be key to allowing us to operate our 2021 Challenges. The spirit, compliance and adherence to our measures by all involved and participating gives us full confidence that we can keep everyone safe along our routes and at rest stops – whilst still having fun and enjoying the great outdoors together.
Furthermore you can have confidence your money and places are secure – for anyone booked onto a 2021 challenge (or looking to sign up) we will be offering FREE transfers across the 2021 & 2022 series to anyone who wishes to delay or move their challenge for any reason. If due to government legislation, and reasons related to the pandemic have to cancel any challenge, you will be entitled to either a FREE transfer to an alternative 2021 or 2022 event, or a full refund for your place.
2021 may not quite feel like a return to ‘normal’, and with foreign travel off the agenda our Ultra Challenges are the perfect break and escape from we all need. Exploring the UK on foot, reconnecting with friends, meeting new people and challenging yourself in the great outdoors could just be your first steps to making 2021 memorable and hugely rewarding.