A group of Tŷ Hafan dads and male friends have announced their latest fundraising challenge for the hospice – to cycle, hike and row the length of Wales in just four days. 

The #BikeBoatBoot Challenge is the third extreme challenge taken on by the group led by bereaved hospice dad Paul Fears.

In 2018, the team took on the 5in55, walking all the five mountains of the National and Welsh 3-Peaks in just 52 hours, raising more than £40,000 in the process.  In recognition of the achievement, the team were crowned the Just Giving Team Fundraisers of the Year.

In 2022, in a pandemic-delayed challenge, the team took on the 10nTaff Challenge, climbing the five highest mountains in North Wales, then the five highest mountains in South Wales, before cycling, off-road, from Brecon to Cardiff.  The 10nTaff was completed in just over 55 hours, raising more than £42,000.

The group’s planned route from North to South Wales will see the team take on off-road cycle paths, mountain hiking trails, and kayaking along the whole length of Lake Bala.  The estimated distance is over 200 miles, with the team climbing nearly 18,000 feet.

“Our 2024 challenge is an ultimate and very unique Welsh triathlon,” says Paul, and it is tougher and longer than any previous challenge we have undertaken.”

Dads and family members of children supported by Tŷ Hafan are joined by staff from the hospice and key sponsors on this extreme challenge.  In all, there are currently 13 team members: Anthony Boggis, Chris Thomas, Dan Forbes, Gareth Jenkins, Georgie Fear, James Meacham, Jason Foster, Laurence Morgan, Lee Morgan, Lloyd Davies, Matthew Evans, Patrick Lord and Paul Fears.

Says Paul, “Many of the participating dads have lost children, whilst other families still receive care and support from Tŷ Hafan. Taking on the challenge is as much about men’s mental health challenges as it is about raising awareness of and funds for the hospice.

“It is widely reported that men do not talk and the BikeBoatBoot challenge gives a group of dads and uncles the opportunity to be together and support each other in the many weeks of training leading up to the challenge and the event itself.

“When I lost my son in February 2023 my whole world literally fell apart.  I was and still am numb.

“As a family we have had amazing support from Tŷ Hafan, but as a Dad I’ve had incredible support from other Dads.  I can talk to them about things that nobody wants to discuss.  That support has and still is precious.  I’m not sure what I would have done without it.

Convey Law, The Conveyancing Foundation, Bunting and The Events Room have already kindly agreed to support our challenge,” adds Paul, “and there are a range of other sponsorship opportunities still available for logos on all the training and event clothing. I’d ask people to get in touch with me via our website https://5in55.co.uk/ to discuss these opportunities.”

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