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The “Mac 4x4 Challenge”

In May 2000 a group of enthusiasts saw a gap in the 4x4 calendar and decided to introduce an interesting 'Millennium Challenge' event for '4x4ers' to support a Macmillan Cancer Support. The 'Mac4x4' had a difficult 'birth' with cancellations through the petrol blockade in 2000 and foot and mouth in 2001. Third time lucky in 2002; eight teams took the first 'Challenge' and raised £8,000 setting the ‘standard. The event has its own contagious spirit and camaraderie and, although it is competitive, the main aim is to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Since the first run in 2002 the average amount raised per team has been over £1,000. In 2014, the thirteenth run, the total set a new record of £144K which took the overall total raised over the £1 Million mark and 2016 added a further £122K.

The "Mac 4x4" is intended to be a fun "challenge" over 3 or 4 days for 4x4 enthusiasts and any sensibly equipped 4x4 should be up to the event. It aims at testing navigational, orienteering and observational skills, with on and off road sections - depending on conditions, and endurance by day and night. A "team" is restricted to two people and it is strongly recommended that both are competent, licensed and insured to drive the vehicle for the event. It is intended to be a long weekend of fun covering between 400 and 1000 miles with various "tests" along the way. Initially teams only know where they are starting from, the route being develops with the issue of road books as the event unfolds until the finish - usually in Cheshire. Night stops mean sleeping rough, in vehicle or tent usually. Following the success of the annual March event, and in response to suggestions made, it had been decided to trial a smaller, more ‘localised’ event over 2 days with shorter road runs. The first of these will be in November based on the Army establishment at Bovington in Dorset. Application Forms for both events can be accessed in “Docs & Info”

Teams are asked to commit to raising a minimum sponsorship of £600 for Macmillan Cancer Support. Competitors are responsible for their own fuel and sustenance en route. The costs of organising the event is borne by the entry fee of £150 and includes an Awards Dinner and hotel accommodation, based on a twin room per team, on the final night.

A hard core of supporters has taken the event on from strength to strength with a highly visited website, a healthy active forum, support from clubs and magazine articles; helped by the participation of magazine staff and celebrity competitors such as Charlie Dimmock, Lynn Bowles, Julia Bradbury, Charlie Webster and Jaye Griffiths over the years. In 2011 John Wayne’s, youngest daughter, Marisa competed, a reason to go to Cong in Ireland, where ‘The Quiet Man’ was made – see the Galleries

The proceeds of all the fun - the sponsorship teams raise - all go to Macmillan Cancer Support - the country's major charity devoted to the support, treatment and care of people living with cancer and their families. It supports Macmillan's continuing efforts to provide better support for everyone affected through Macmillan nurses, doctors, buildings, patient grants and information services.

Peter Rowland