Taking it too far? Staff take on Commit To Get Far challenge

The Commit To Get Far staff team MPS Marauders.

This year’s Commit To Get Far is certainly a challenge but one which University of Sussex staff have taken up with gusto.

Over 20 teams and seven soloists signed up to travel the length of six of Britain’s most beautiful trails from 14 January, with some staff continuing the challenge well into February and beyond.

The task was for teams to complete virtual miles via cycling, walking, running, yoga, Pilates, etc., which would equate to the total distance of six stunning National Trail routes (a whopping 840 miles). 

The first trail formed part of the South West Coast Path, running from Torquay in Devon to Poole in Dorset. The final trail, Hadrian’s Wall, started at Bowness-on-Solway and finished in the aptly named town of Wallsend. Read more about the history of the trails.

As part of Commit To Get Far and to help the teams on their way, staff members who accepted the challenge could take advantage of a 10-day Sussexsport membership. 

The MPS Marauders from the School of Mathematics and Physics finished their trails on 23 January, just 10 days from the set-off. Team leader Alice Jackson had this to say of the project: “We tried spinning, Pilates, Zumba, trapeze, bouldering and badminton!

"We also went on team walks together during lunches, something we wouldn’t usually do. We thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and a few team members are now keen gym goers!”

Teams also received lovingly hand-written and designed postcards after completing each of the trails, which were sometimes delivered in person by Deputy Head of Sport Terry Cooper, who co-ordinated the project. It was that personal touch which many of the teams responded to and which kept them going despite plummeting temperatures and the usual rain, wind and sleet that we come to expect at this time of the year.

Runners-up, the Falmer Falcons from the Library, enjoyed themselves too. Ruth Bowles from the team said: “We all pushed ourselves to do a bit more, taking a lunchtime walk or trying a new sport; as a result, we are feeling a lot fitter. In fact, we have decided to keep going and are setting ourselves new challenges.

"So thanks for this great idea and we hope there will be more challenges like this in the future!”

Harriet Blackband from the Business School, and team We’re the Business, commented: “Overall we’ve been surprised at the distance we were able to achieve by taking part in our regular routines. 

"The best part of the challenge has been the competition between us trying to reach the top of our team leader board.” A bit of competition is indeed a marvellous thing, as the team at Sussexsport know very well.

Other teams included: LPS Professional Services, The Shore-C Belles, Careering Ahead, The Management Reporting Team, Jobs Worth, Accreditation Team - Who Are We?, The HaStingRays, Sussexsport, Girls Do It Better, Arterimoles, Housing, The Mean and Lean Extreme Green Dream Team, The Winners: Eleven 11 in Heaven, Research Development, Estates Team, Planning and the Sussex Business School.

Commit To Get Far is not over yet, with many of these teams still taking part - and as yet no soloist has reached the first check point at the end of the South West Coast Path. 

We wish them every bit of luck with their challenge and can all agree that it doesn’t matter how long it takes, what matters is that they’ve taken on this epic challenge to begin with; 840 miles is no mean feat, regardless of how you choose to tackle those miles.

The next staff-focused project on the horizon is Commit To Get Fit 2019, which will run from 1–31 May. More details will follow soon.

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By: Rose Wilmot
Last updated: Friday, 15 February 2019