Viking Challenge

This Year: Sunday 6 October 2013

Viking Challenge
AMOUNT RAISED 2012: £26,000

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.

How It Started

In 1995 the staff and parents of Redmile School decided that it would be more effective to organise one big fund raising event than having lots of small ones across the school year (as is typical in many schools).

A parent from Redmile came up with the idea of using the local section of the Viking Way, an ancient track-way originally linking Newark and Stamford, as a means of raising much-needed funds for the school.

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

Viking Challenge Top Three Men 2009

Now celebrating its 15th year the Viking Challenge:

  • Attracts over 1,000 riders from all over the country, and is one of the UK's largest amateur off road cycle events;
  • Has raised over £250,000 for the school and our charity partners since it began in 1995;
  • Needs over 100 volunteers to run and man the event on the day;
  • Requires nearly 5,000 cakes, bananas and sandwiches to keep cyclists fuelled up on the way round!
  • Is open to everyone, young and old, teams and individuals, both serious and fun cyclists - and Vikings!

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.

Taking in the fabulous Vale of Belvoir countryside riders have access to terrain not usually accessible to the general public and with lots of well-stocked refuelling stops along the way – our cakes are almost as famous as the challenge itself – it really is a unique cycling experience.

Making a Big Difference

Taken at the presentation in 2008 - the children always love a photo opportunity!

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 French and music lessons, visiting dancers and puppeteers and many school trips just a few of the activities funded by monies raised. The money raised from the 2007 event was spent on a new assault course, which was chosen by the children themselves. The 2008 event helped to pay for fixtures for our new School Hall, and 2009's event helped to fund shaded areas for the outside learning.

Such is the success of the event that besides raising essential funds for our school we are able to support other charities.

Each year we choose a charity partner to whom half of the total monies raised are given. Often the charity is suggested by a parent, or local resident and charities that have benefited include: Multiple Sclerosis Society, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, National Meningitis Trust, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Leukaemia Research Fund, Mencap, NSPCC, Macmillan Cancer Relief, Help the Hospices and When You Wish Upon A Star.

Dove Cottage Day Hospice

Our 2010 charity partner is Dove Cottage Day Hospice.

Located near Stathern, the hospice provides much needed palliative care for people with cancer and other life threatening diseases living in Leicestershire, Rutland and Nottinghamshire.

The Viking Challenge Committee

A group of parents and Mrs Hopkins form the Viking Challenge Committee and are responsible for the organisation of each year's event.

If you are interested in joining the committee, we would love to hear from you. Please contact either Mrs Hopkins or Kirsten Hughes (Chair) for more information.

For More Information

For more information on The Viking Challenge, or to register, please visit our website at

2009 Event Report - A grand day out!

Sunday 4 October 2009

After a wet Viking Challenge in 2008, we kept a careful eye on the weather forecast this year and were a little nervous when we were hit by strong winds the day before.

However, the Viking Challenge 2009 will be remembered as a cool, sunny day – ideal conditions for the event (unless you are one of those cyclists who relish the mud!).

The great weather allowed both cyclists and volunteers to make the most of the amazing scenery around the course, and meant that the ride and the clean up operation went very smoothly .

Over 1,050 riders took the challenge this year and enjoyed the beautiful countryside whilst raising funds for Redmile School and When You Wish Upon A Star.

Without your efforts this great event would not have been possible.

On behalf of the Viking Challenge Committee, Redmile School and When you wish upon a Star thank you for your help.

Viking Challenge participants 2009   Viking Challenge 2009 in full flow

2008 Event Report - A wash down not a wash out!

Sunday 5 October 2008

Photographs of 2008's event by
Jim Coupland of JCP-Images

This Viking Challenge event was the wettest and muddiest yet!

Ground conditions were the most challenging we've had, as continuous rain the night before and throughout the morning meant cyclists were faced with excessive surface water, sticky clay and inches of mud to navigate through the Leicestershire countryside.

Despite this, spirits were high amongst the cyclists, 100 volunteers and supporters with many cyclists relishing the unique riding conditions.

Fortunately, there were no serious incidents with just a few cyclists needing to be rescued due to mechanical problems.

The fastest cyclists were still able to finish within 2 1/2 hours (fastest rider).

The weather did put some people off on the day - we had 822 entrants this year vs over 1000 last year, when beautiful sunshine brought a lot of people out on the day. But overall it was another fantastic event with many mud-covered cyclists already gearing up for 2009 as they headed home under blue sky!

Content and Images © 2008-, Redmile C of E Primary School.
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