13th April 2022
South Devon College’s Public Services department set themselves a challenge to raise money for a fantastic charity called REORG, who the college have recently partnered with. The challenge was no mean feat and not for the faint hearted; 100km in less than 24 hours.
Staff and students spent a lot of time preparing for this. Not just in terms of fitness, but preparing support groups, the route they would take, the timings of stops, and ensuring facilities were available throughout the night for the students and staff to take the breaks they needed to complete the challenge.
Over 40 students took part in the challenge covering various distances as part of the challenge. 15 of these students were selected as candidates to take on the full 100km. Out of these 15, two students were successful.
Students Isaac Fairlie and Tishana Dymond and tutors Dan Wilson and Shaun Aston, who completed the 100km challenge with 3 minutes to spare, were proudly and warmly cheered back into the college by Mark Ormrod MBE from REORG, their classmates and college staff.
Incredibly, spirits remained high even after 24 hours of long laps from the college campus down to Hyde Road and back again. You can see the route they took on the Strava posts on their JustGiving page. Tishana said: “I almost gave up on lap eight out of ten, but I said to myself that I’ve come so far, the only way I’d stop is if I collapsed. Now I’m back, I feel like I could go out and do another lap!”
Isaac came back in the morning after finishing the 100km with only a single blister on his heel saying “I almost gave up on lap seven but I’m glad I didn’t because I feel great now, and surprisingly my feet feel absolutely fine.”
It certainly wasn’t the sight anyone expected from their arrival. You would have imagined them dropping to the floor as they made it into the college again but it looked more like they had just arrived from a morning jog. Despite the amount of resilience and determination they would have had to exercise to complete the challenge, they arrived making it look effortless.
Glyn Potter, programme coordinator for public services said: “I would like to say thank you to everyone who was able to get involved. These events do not happen without many hours of thought and rigorous planning and the courage to move beyond the normal- and most importantly the support and generosity of many people across the college and beyond.
“Special thanks to Dan Wilson who came up with the crazy idea and made this day happen. Thanks to the support team, without you it would have been even much harder, near impossible. Thanks to everyone from the college, from the hairdressing team providing towels to Horizon’s delicious breakfast for the return, to Jodie for lending us Passiv Haus, to the caretakers for turning off the midnight alarms, to catering for the pots and pans, to Danny and Lee for the food, you have all contributed to something special.
“I would like to congratulate everyone who took part in the challenge. Whether you walked the 33km in day, jogged 50km into the evening, crawled to 70km into the small hours, shuffled the streets for 90km all night, or were superhuman and completed the 100km with three minutes to spare! If you pushed your limits, if you hurt, cried, or even manage to fall asleep upright, you all gained from the experience. The main aim was to raise awareness and monies for ReOrg, and we certainly did this the hard way! If you set out to do 100km but your knees fused together at 70km or a blister stopped you at 50Km, that is ok, it is a positive failure, and with reflection these are all great learning experiences.
“Finally, exploration, challenge, and togetherness are amongst the great values and virtues of a successful and purposeful life. So, here’s to the next challenge! Until then, get some rest, enjoy the Easter break, and I look forward to seeing you all, ready for the final term.”
REORG work with people who have a whole range of serious, life-altering physical injuries, as well as those suffering debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression through Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ). The difference it can make is nothing short of incredible. Physically BJJ is brilliant because you can adapt it to your abilities, and you get a workout that puts every part of your body on red alert. And the accompanying psychological benefits are something everyone notices as soon as they start training with them.
Mark Ormrod MBE said: “The event the students took part in requires extreme physical and mental resilience, not only to cover the 100K distance but even just to be awake for 24 hours is grueling and they all did phenomenal. I think they learnt a lot about teamwork and that things like this require support and participation and they did incredibly well at both. They also raised an incredible amount of money for REORG, money that will go to help the Veteran & Emergency Services Community improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing. I want to thank all the staff who organised the event, the students that took part and the people that supported it, REORG are very proud of you and very grateful for you.”
If you would like to show your support and congratulate the Public Services Team on their massive achievement, please donate to their JustGiving page.