20th Anniversary Challenge

To celebrate the 20th anniversary since Quest delivered its very first event, Director Martyn Ward has decided to undertake a unique challenge to raise money for three very worthy charities.

The Challenge:

Stage 1: Bike & Kayak - Cycle from Coulston (Quest Office) to Devizes (7 miles) and then paddle from Devizes to Westminster via the Kennet & Avon Canal & River Thames (125 miles)

Stage 2: Run - Complete a marathon starting at Westminster and finishing at Tower Bridge (26 miles 385 yards)

Stage 3: Bike - Cycle from Central London back to Coulston (108 miles)

The total distance covered will be approximately 260 miles. Martyn is planning to complete the whole Challenge himself in under 60 hours over 4 days.

Martyn will start the challenge from the Quest office on Friday 22 May 2015 and he will be supported by other members of The Quest Team.

As there are three key elements to the challenge we thought it would be apt to support three charities, one for each stage. These are: the British Heart FoundationCancer Research UK and Children in Need. Sponsors can choose to support just one or all of three of these charities.

Donations can be made via Virgin Giving Money on the Quest20's fundraising page or you can send a cheque payable to one of the three charities and send it to: Quest TGO Ltd, Stokes Marsh, Coulston, Wiltshire BA13 4NZ

Many thanks for your support, it is greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,

Martyn & The Quest Team


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Over the last 20 years Quest has worked alongside many of our clients helping them to raise fantastic sums of money for many different charities such as the NSPCC, Macmillan Nurses, RNIB, Age UK, Help for Heroes, British Red Cross and many more.

In addition to delivering a vast array of corporate events, Quest has also been running Questars - The Adventure Race Series. The events involve three disciplines: trail running, kayaking and mountain biking. It is this format that has been part of our inspiration for our 20th anniversary challenge.

Quest is currently based near Devizes but the company was initially set up in Putney, London, close to the Thames. With this in mind we got thinking and did what we’re so good at in Quest... creating bespoke challenges.

We wanted to include all the elements detailed above and create a challenge that would be both physically and mentally demanding, worthy of your sponsorship and which will enable us to raise a large amount of money for three great causes.

Hence we came up with the following challenge...


Challenge Details


The Kayak

Devizes to Westminster 125 miles

We want this to be a real challenge so we won’t be using the sleek K2 Kayaks used in the Devizes to Westminster race, we will be paddling one of our Questars RTM Duo sit on top kayaks which are 10 kg heavier and 40 cm wider. The consequence of the additional weight and width is that it generates at least 3 times the drag of a 'go faster' K2 kayak.

There are 77 portages weirs between Devizes and Westminster which will require the kayak being carried around the various locks and weirs.

Martyn will be joined by his colleague Daniel on this stage of the challenge.


The Run

Marathon commencing in Parliament Square 26 miles 385 yards

The route will include the four central London Royal Parks, Battersea Park and a section of the Grand Union Canal. The route will pass many of London’s iconic land marks and will finish at Tower Bridge. Martyn plans to run the Marathon on the third day of the challenge, which if everything goes as planned will be a Sunday (24 May). As Martyn nears the end of the course he will pass along the streets of the City of London, home to a number of our corporate clients and from where we have delivered many events over the past twenty years.


The Bike

Cycle from Tower Bridge back to the Quest office near Devizes 108 miles

The cycle route will take Martyn out through South West London to Putney (the original home of Quest) through Richmond Park and on into the Surrey, Hampshire and the Wiltshire countryside. Martyn's brother - fellow Quest Director Richard - will join him for this leg of the challenge.

The rural and urban mix of this challenge reflects the portfolio of varied events that Quest now delivers.


The Charities


The British Heart Foundation (BHF)

Heart Disease is responsible for 82,000 deaths in the UK each year and there are nearly 2.7 million people living with heart disease in the UK. 

The British Heart Foundation is the UK's number one heart charity and they fund thousands of research projects around the UK that are fighting heart disease.

There two reasons for choosing to support the BHF: 

  • Martyn's father, who was an energetic man and who appeared to be fit, very sadly  died prematurely of a heart attack
  • Quest’s adventure race series  ‘Questars’ and several of our corporate events are physical challenges which promote exercise and encourage the participants to get or remain fit which may help prevent them from suffering from heart disease .


Cancer Research UK

There are around 309,500 new cases of cancer (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) diagnosed each year in the UK, and more than 1 in 3 people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.

Cancer Research UK has saved millions of lives by discovering new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Over the past century, their researchers have made consistent progress in the fight against cancer, and survival rates have doubled over the past 40 years.

Tragically, over the last few years we have experienced the loss of several family friends who have had their lives cut short by cancer. We have also seen the devastating impact that has on the family left behind, and think that this would be another terrific charity to support.


Children in Need

  • There are 770,000 disabled children under the age of 16 in the UK. That equates to 1 child in 20. (Department of Health)
  • 950,000  children are affected by domestic violence, either directly as victims of violence, or indirectly in terms of witnessing violence (British Crime survey)
  • Figures from the ONS suggest that 244,00 people under 19 are carers of which 23,000 are under the age of nine (BBC)
  • 65,000 children have severe or profound learning disabilities  (Department of Health)

Martyn is very lucky to have two healthy and happy daughters but sadly as the statistics detailed above show, there are many children in the UK that are not as fortunate. Martyn has therefore selected Children in Need as one of the charities because they fund projects working with children and young people aged 18 years and under, living in the UK, who are experiencing disadvantage through:

  • Any kind of disability
  • Behavioural or psychological difficulties
  • Illness, distress, abuse or neglect
  • Living in poverty or situations of deprivation

Children in Need are currently supporting around 2,600 projects so your donations will therefore  help support small charitable organisations such as: STEPS, which is a specialist nursery for children with motor disorders and the Buttle Trust which provides grants to some of the most vulnerable children and young people in the UK. In the last year, BBC Children in Need helped change the lives of 480,000 disadvantaged children and young people right here in the UK.

They also pledge to the public that every penny they donate or fundraise for BBC Children in Need will be used to help disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.


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