Ready yourself and your team for the D-Day Challenge, the ultimate all-terrain charity event with fine wine, port and cheese en route. The route hugs the Normandy coastline and passes the beaches of the 1944 Allied invasion of occupied France. Taking place on the Longest Day, 6th June, the event allows us to appreciate fully the sacrifices made by our forefathers as well as current servicemen who have bravely fought to protect our way of life.
For those of us who are passionate about adventure and sporting challenges, the D-Day Challenge offers the perfect opportunity to indulge these passions.
Designed for teams of between two and eight, The D-Day Challenge stretches for an astonishing 44 miles. It takes you through corn, wheat and barley fields. It hugs the Normandy coastline taking you over sand dunes, through marshlands as well as pebble beaches. You will follow forgotten paths and rocky outcrops and pass through beautiful Normandy villages. These are all set alive during the first week of June with people from all over the world driving WWII vehicles and some wearing old WWII uniforms. Amongst these people are hundreds of war veterans, some of whom lived through D-Day and proudly wear their medals and tell their amazing stories.
44 miles is a challenging distance and for this reason, the D-Day Challenge is designed for teams of between two and eight. Team up with a friend, create a Team of Two and run/walk the entire course together, or team up with a group of friends, create a Relay Team and run/walk a section or two each. Relay teams must have at least 4 members and no more than 8. The route starts at Pointe du Hoc and finishes at Café Gondre on the west side of Pegasus Bridge. The four sections will be Omaha to Gold, Gold to Juno, Juno to Sword and Sword to Pegasus.
It will be tough, make no mistake, but because you do all the hard work, we will ensure that you are fantastically well supported at every opportunity and there will be several feed stations along the route.
The D-Day Challenge isn’t just a massive personal challenge. Like all of our events it is an opportunity to raise essential funding for charity. The co-founders of the D-Day 44 Run, Giles Barnes (civilian) and the late Michael McErlain (military), hoped to have as many participants as possible each year, supporting the charity BLESMA (British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association). Sadly, Lt Col Mike McErlain died while running the Normandy Beaches on the 6th June 2013, but the event returned in 2017 as the D-Day 44 Challenge with the blessing of Mike’s widow, Jo, and supported the charities Combat Stress and Blind Veterans UK as well as BLESMA.
The D-Day Challenge is an event that is open to both civilian and military participants of any nationality, and all participants are asked to pledge to raise funds for the charities as follows; each person in a Team of Two must pledge to raise £300, while each participant in a Relay Team must pledge to raise £150. We have created a Virgin Money Giving Fundraising Hub to co-ordinate the funding effort. You can create your own personal fundraising page from this Hub and it also accepts direct donations. All sponsorship money and donations collected via the Virgin Money Giving Fundraising Hub goes directly and entirely to the charities.
You will need to make your own travel arrangements to the start, and organize your own accommodation. Limited accommodation is available in Hotel Premiere Classe Caen Est Mondeville, at a cost of £80 per person for two nights (5th and 6th June 2017) on a bed and breakfast basis. Every room is furnished with a flat-screen television, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi access and en suite shower and toilet. The rooms also have top-quality, super-comfortable bedding and soundproofing to give you a wonderful night’s sleep. There are double, twin and triple rooms available and these can be booked during the event registration process.
Registration for the D-Day Challenge costs £120 for each person in a Team of Two, or £75 for each person in a Relay Team.
Planning to come to France to support someone taking part, but don't want to take part yourself? Why not offer your services as a Volunteer instead? Volunteers are crucial to making the event a success. We need general volunteers to help with setting up the safety briefing, check-in and feed stations, to man check-in and feed stations, to marshal along the route, and to help us clear up afterwards. It's all about helping to looking after people! We also need medical volunteers with specific skills such as doctors, paramedics, and physios. As well as anyone who can offer sports massage!
If you would like to volunteer, register here: Volunteer Registration
44 miles at 44. One of my major achievements! Great memories. Being part of the run in 2012 changed so many aspects of my life.Tony K
Taking part in 2011 opened my eyes and taught me many lessons.Hannah C