The D-Day 44 Challenge is a unique 44 mile run or 22 mile walk that commemorates the 1944 Allied invasion of occupied France close to the anniversary of D-Day. This year it will be held on the 5th – 7th June.
The D-Day 44 Challenge stretches for an astonishing 44-miles. It takes you through corn, wheat and barley fields. It hugs the Normandy coastline taking you over sand dunes, through marsh land as well as pebble beaches. You will follow forgotten paths and rocky outcrops and beautiful Norman villages. These are all set alive during this first week of June with people from all over the world driving WWII vehicles and some even wear old WWII uniforms. Amongst these people are hundreds of war veterans, some of whom lived through D-Day and proudly wear their medals and tell their amazing stories.
The D-Day 44 Challenge commemorates the 1944 Allied invasion of occupied France. For those of us who are passionate about adventure and sporting challenges, the D-Day 44 Challenge offers us the perfect opportunity to indulge these passions. The walk/run allows us to appreciate fully the sacrifices made by our forefathers as well as current servicemen who have bravely fought to protect our way of life.
The picture above is of Giles Barnes (civilian) and Michael McErlain (military), co-founders of the D-Day 44 Run. Their aim was to have as many people as possible participate in the event each year on June 6th. Sadly, Lt Col Mike McErlain died while running the Normandy Beaches on the 6th June 2013, but the event returns in 2019 as the D-Day 44 Challenge with the blessing of Mike’s widow, Jo, and is now supporting the charities Combat Stress and Blind Veterans UK as well as BLESMA.
The route starts at the Pointe du Hoc. This is where Colonel Rudder led an elite group of 200 rangers up the chalk cliffs using ropes and ladders. After dispatching the German sentries at the top of the cliff, their mission was to find and destroy large battery guns. This action was crucial as these large guns were capable of firing shells several miles out to sea and would therefore have claimed many men’s lives who would be arriving at Utah beach the following morning. After destroying the guns, but alerting a large German infantry force, Colonel Rudder and his men fought bravely with their backs to the sea and suffered large casualties, not only at the hands of the German infantry force but also due to friendly fire coming from naval ships at sea. Colonel Rudder and 30 of his men survived the mission.
Want to join in?
TAKE THE CHALLENGE…
Choose from either a 44 mile ultra run or a 22 mile walk and either one of the following payment options:
Option 1 (Minimum Sponsorship) – You pay a £150 registration fee and agree to raise £1,000 sponsorship for either Blesma,The Limbless Veterans, Blind Veterans UK or Combat Stress.
Option 2 (Own Place) – You pay a £150 registration fee, plus £340 for the balance of the tour costs and agree to raise £500 sponsorship. You will be invoiced for the tour cost 8 weeks before the event
You can go to any one of the three charities’ sites to join up. Here are the links:
Good luck on the day!!