June News – It’s Time For a New Challenge!

I love to take on challenges, whether it be running 10k races, tandem jumps or ship wreck scuba diving off the Cornish Coast. Even today I was inspired to look into a new challenge by a candidate who loves abseiling into the unknown; he loves pushing himself further.

But when looking for inspiration, what my friend Kate McKeand achieved this April is a pretty impressive read. Kate works as the Corporate Partnerships Manager for Walking With The Wounded wwtw.org.uk and last year became part of the team that trained to complete the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, dubbed the “Toughest Footrace on Earth” according to the Discovery Channel. Although pretty fit and with a keen interest in cycling, Kate was not a Marathon Runner and had to focus and train to be fit enough to in six days run over 250km (156 miles) through endless dunes, over rocky jebels and across white-hot salt plains. Temperatures regularly reached a blistering 50 degrees centigrade and she had to be self-sufficient, carrying everything she needed – emergency equipment, food, spare clothing, sleeping gear etc.

The charity she works for, WWTW, supports wounded, injured and sick veterans to reintegrate into society and regain their independence. Every year around 15,000 skilled men and women leave the Armed Forces after serving their country.  The majority make this transition successfully, but a meaningful minority struggle. Walking With The Wounded support those who fall through the cracks.

So far, Kate has raised just over £31,000 for Walking with the Wounded, which is just incredible.  What Kate has achieved is awesome, and signing up for the Marathon des Sables will of course not be for all of us! However we can all set ourselves personal goals and challenges to improve how we feel about ourselves or to help others by raising moneys for charity.  From walking 10,000 steps a day to running our first 5k race (I’ve signed my 4 year old daughter to run/jog/walk with me in September, the Colour Run at Frimley Lodge Park).

Below is the email Kate sent out after completing her incredible journey, and if you would like to support Kate, donations can still be made to her fundraising page: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Kate

Claire Newman
Founder & MD, Bluetree Recruits

Still doesn’t seem quite real and I am utterly thrilled that I can now say that I have completed the Marathon des Sables!!!

It was unbelievably hard and hot.  The chap that designs the course is a sadist and it truly earns its reputation and there were a few times I didn’t think I’d ever see the next check point or the finish line.  My feet are aching but my legs feel fine!

We had an astonishing and triple record breaking team!

  • My amazing workmate Duncan Slater became the first ever double amputee to complete the “toughest footrace on earth”.
  • Captain Tom Evans (Welsh Guards) became the first non-Moroccan to ever get on the podium since the MdS began 32 years ago, look out for his name in the future!!!
  • And at just 16, Oscar Daglish became the youngest ever participant to take part and complete the MdS

Everyone in our team was amazing and all pulled each other through and I know I’ve made some great friends for life and I am weirdly missing the desert …

Thank you so much for your support and sponsorship which really helped to get through the tough moments and I am delighted that I am just £29 shy of £30,000 but I know I have a couple of cheques winging their way so I am going to smash that £30k barrier and all that lovely sponsorship is going to help so many of our veterans which is amazing!

Thanks again and lots of love and hugs

Kate xxxx

Kate McKeand
Corporate Partnerships Manager