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Friday, 1 January 2010

My First Encounter With The Challenge

I first learned of the Challenge in the late summer of 1998, when I read the report of the that year's Challenge in the Great Outdoors Magazine. Of course, by now it was called the Great Outdoors Challenge rather then the Ultimate Challenge, and you were only allowed two weeks rather than three (well, 15 days if you want to be pedantic: which I usually do) but otherwise it was exactly the same event that my good friend Sarah had taken part in in 1980, and spent the next 18 years NOT telling me about! ... Although to be fair to her, I first got to know her in 1984, so she had only been remiss for 14 years (you see - I TOLD you I was pedantic!)

I was so inspired by those reports that I filled in the entry form for the 1999 Challenge, wrote out my cheque, and posted it off to Roger Smith right away.

Then I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And eventually a letter arrived .... saying that the event had been oversubscribed, and that I had been balloted out!

Ah well. Nothing daunted, I waited for the 2000 Challenge, which was destined to be my first.

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