The D-Day 44 Challenge is a unique 44 mile run or 22 mile walk that commemorates the 1944 Allied invasion of occupied France on the anniversary of D-Day, 6 June every year.
In 2009 Lt Col. Mike McErlain, with his wife Jo, set up the D-Day 44 Challenge. Sadly, Mike died while doing the run on 6 June 2013, but with the blessing of Mike’s widow, Jo, the event returned in 2019 to raise money for Blesma the Limbless Veterans, Blind Veterans UK and Combat Stress.
Limited places are available for runners to take on the 44 mile challenge and for walkers to complete the 22 mile challenge. The route, which hugs the Normandy coastline, will take in villages, fields, beaches and D-Day celebrations.
Runners will start at Point Du Hoc and walkers will join the route at Arromanches on 6 June and both will finish at the historic Pegasus Bridge the same day.
There are two ways you can join Team Blesma...
Choose from either a 44 mile ultra run or a 22 mile walk and either one of the following options:
Option 1 (Minimum Sponsorship)
You pay a £150 registration fee and agree to raise £1,000 sponsorship
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.
- Distance: 44 mile run or 22 mile walk
- Run across the five beaches of Utah, Omaha, Gold, Sword and Juno
- On the anniversary of D-Day
- £500 or £1000 fundraising target
Participants will receive:
- Return transport from London to France
- 2 nights accommodation
- All meals apart from on return day
- Water and feed stations throughout the challenge
- Back up response vehicle
- Fully recce’d route.
Please note accommodation is a mix of twin/triple and quad share.
What's Not Included
Travel insurance, food on day 3 and personal equipment to undertake the challenge.
The D-Day Challenge packages above are fully inclusive, including your travel, meals and accommodation however you can select to make your own way to France or stay in separate accommodation. If you do not require the full event package please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss options.
Day 1: 5th June.
Participants make their own way to London to pick up the coach transfer down to Dover. Day crossing over to Calais. On arrival into Calais port we travel to our overnight accommodation to fuel up with a nutritious dinner. We then have the challenge briefing about the day ahead.
Day 2: 6th June.
44 Mile Challenge: Early morning wake-up as we board the coach at 05:30 to be at the start point for 06:00.
22 Mile Challenge: Morning coach transfer to start point to begin walking for 09:00.
Day 3: 7th June.
Mid-morning departure back to London via Calais.
By fundraising for Blesma you’ll be transforming lives
Matt Weston was just 20 when he lost three limbs to a bomb blast in Afghanistan.
"All I remember is a flash, my ears ringing, and the sense of falling. I lost both my legs and my right arm below the elbow in the blast. My rehab has been long, slow and difficult. I was in intensive care for a while and was in hospital for three months, and I've just had my fiftieth operation."
"If my chair breaks and I can't repair it, Blesma will get it done. I was in a bad place after my injury but Blesma have been there for me, by my side from day one."
Last year alone we supported over 3,000 limbless veterans and widows
- Just £10 could help to pay for a dedicated Support Officer to visit an amputee like Matt and give him much needed emotional support.
- Just £100 could help to pay for home adaptations that would help an amputee like Matt get back into their own home and live independently once again.
- Just £150 would help pay for Blesma families to have a weekend away so amputees like Matt can spend some quality time with their partners, families, and loved ones.