#Challenge5Alive. That’s 5 challenges supporting mental health. All across Wales. Running. Cycling. Kayaking. Wild Swimming. Powered by human propulsion!

The Mission

To undertake FIVE multisport endurance challenges across Wales:

—to help highlight the complicated terrain that comes with parenting when your child needs the support of mental health services—where access to services has its ups, its downs and quite often you end up climbing mountainous obstacles or indeed going round in circles. Some days it’s pretty much like a multisport endurance challenge but without a map or a visible support crew.

—to grow my appreciation for, and cultural awareness of, the different people, places, sports, ideas, experiences, technology, nutrition and services that come with exploring Wales, from north to south, around the islands, around the coastline, and through the heartlands, powered by human propulsion.

—to create five mini-documentaries aimed at capturing how we can integrate community sports with adventure, creative disciplines with mental wellbeing, purpose with national pride.

This challenge I am dedicating to the beautiful country of Wales, and to also raising desperate funds for our children and young people via YoungMinds.

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of our children and young people.

“Nearly 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression and on average, three children in every classroom in the UK have a diagnosable mental health disorder. We want to put a spotlight on young people’s mental health and get everyone joining in on the conversation.”

My reasons are simple, the mental health and wellbeing of my own children are the driving force behind my decision to support the work of Young Minds. It seems obvious to me that mental health and wellbeing should be at the forefront of educational policy, not just a sideline, reserved only for when things go wrong.

Here’s the plan

Offa’s Dyke Running Wild

7 days’ solo running & wild camping, south to north along the 182 miles of the Offa’s Dyke trail path. Closely following the border between Wales and England, this route will be sure to stoke up some historical tales.

Carry on over Cambria

4 days’ cycling from the tip of Holyhead to the Cardiff Bay, running over Snowdon, Cadair Idris and Pen y Fan in between to keep the route in a single (albeit wiggly) line. A cycle-cross will be required, one still for the kit list!

Paddle Buckley Round

A great idea cooked up over Twitter was to complete the Paddy Buckley Round with a water element. So there will be a wild swim involved in this 47 summit route challenge! Likely to be Llyn Padarn as it’s going to be the start and finish point for the event.

Riding the Storm

A tour of the nearly 850+ miles of mainland Wales’ coastal routes by bike and on foot. Not all of the route is accessible to the bicycle for reasons that some of the route is simply footpaths. But where I can cycle, I will. The rest, well, will just have to be on foot.

Paddle Pedal Pace

6/7 days’ of 3 loops of the Isle of Anglesey, by sea kayak, cycling, and running. The start date will be flexible to take into consideration the tides and the weather fronts. Whether this is clockwise or anti-clockwise has yet to be determined.

What’s more

In addition to propelling myself up, down and all around the country, I fully intend to capture interviews along the way. To do this, I have two options;

  1. work by myself to find folk en route to interview with my phone, curate phone footage somehow into decent content
  2. collaborate with a videographer who will be able to target aspects of the route, bring quality to the idea, as well as work with amateur footage shot from my phone

Obviously I prefer option 2 so I am seeking a videographer to work with me on this! I am also scouting for funding to help bring the documentaries to life…

Thank you! Diolch!