The Salisbury Plain Challenge is one of the original enduro-style events. The event, featuring one 50km lap across the vast expanse of Salisbury Plain, has been running for eleven years. 50km may not sound like much next to your Newnham 90s and Kona 100s, but the Challenge takes place in the middle of winter. It’s always cold (sometimes it’s extremely cold), it’s always windy and since the only traffic many of the tracks usually see is of the armed and tracked variety some of the puddles are very deep…
The Challenge didn’t take place at the beginning of 2001, as organisers Stewart and Pauline Sidebottom took a well-earned break from race promotion after running the SAMS series and handling entries for the NPS. The ‘2002’ event (actually at the end of 2001) carried on as usual despite the rest of the season being wrecked by Foot and Mouth. For 2003, though, it’s back with a vengeance. As well as the 50km race (with team and individual categories), there’s a leisure ride option plus 38 or 25km loops for anyone who doesn’t fancy the full monty.
The date is 5th January, the start time is 10am and the place to be is Erlestoke, near Devizes. All proceeds go to children’s cancer charity CLIC and the Wiltshire Air Ambulance appeal, great causes for which the event has raced £70,000 over the years.
If you did the last Challenge you’ll automatically receive an entry form in the post. If not, call 01380 813639 for more details.