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.
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."
|Squats||30 Seconds||30 Seconds|
|Press Ups||30 Seconds||30 Seconds|
|Sit Ups||30 Seconds||30 Seconds|
|Star Jumps||30 Seconds||30 Seconds|
|On The Spot Jog||30 Seconds||30 Seconds|
|Plank||30 Seconds||30 Seconds|
Fusilier Andy Barlow was injured in September 2006 while serving in Kajaki, Afghanistan. He lost his left leg above the knee. Since then, Andy has competed in Para Alpine skiing, been part of the first disabled sports programme set up by the British Military and now works as a Blesma Outreach Officer in the South.
|Chest Flys||10 Reps||30 Seconds|
|Tricep Kick Backs||10 Reps||30 Seconds|
|Over Head Tricep Dips||10 Reps||30 Seconds|
|Shoulder Press||10 Reps||30 Seconds|
|Sit Up / V Up||10 Reps||30 Seconds|
|Ab Crunches||10 Reps||30 Seconds|
Charmaine suffered a life-changing injury that led to an amputation after serving with the Royal Signals in Afghanistan in 2010. Since then she has competed at the 2017 Invictus Games, winning Silver in Powerlifting, Silver in Sitting Volleyball and Bronze in Wheelchair Basketball. After a break from sport, Charmaine is focusing on her fitness once again with regular gym sessions.
|Burpees||1 Minute||30 Seconds|
|Press Ups||1 Minute||30 Seconds|
|Sit Ups||1 Minute||30 Seconds|
|Lunge (Alternate Legs)||1 Minute||30 Seconds|
|Squat||1 Minute||30 Seconds|
|Shuttle Sprints||1 Minute||30 Seconds|
Stephen lost his left leg in 2007 while on patrol with the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment in Basra, Iraq. After rehab, Stephen threw himself into sport, taking part in skiing, scuba diving, water skiing and kayaking. Now he competes in CrossFit competitions and is working towards becoming a CrossFit coach.
|Press Ups||30 Seconds||Repeat set 3 times|
|Ball Slams||30 Seconds||with a 3 minute rest|
|Arm Front/Side Raises||30 Seconds||between each set.|
|Shadow Boxing||30 Seconds|
|Heel Touches||30 Seconds|
Paul lost his left arm below the elbow while serving in Afghanistan in 2011. Since then, Paul has represented Great Britain an impressive five times in golf at the prestigious Simpson Cup, has qualified as a personal trainer, appeared in major TV and film productions as an extra, climbed to the Everest basecamp and is now working on his own entrepreneurial projects for good causes.
|Press Ups||10 Reps||Repeat set 5 times|
|Squats||10 Reps||as quickly as possible|
|V – Ups||10 Reps||and record your time.|
|Sit Ups||10 Reps|
Mark Ormrod was injured on Christmas Eve while serving with the Royal Marines in Afghanistan. He lost both his legs and an arm, making him the UK’s first triple amputee to survive the conflict. Today, Mark is an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker, a peak performance coach, an author, a father, a husband, an Invictus Games champion, a charity fundraiser and ambassador and a daily inspiration for thousands of people who follow him on social media.
|Jumping Jacks||1.5 Minutes||Repeat 5 times.|
|Lunge Elbows to Ankles||20 Reps||Rest for 30 seconds|
|Side Lunge into Squat||20 Reps||between sets.|
|Wide Speed Skaters||20 Reps|
|Crawl Outs||20 Reps|
|Russian Baby Makers||20 Reps|
Former Lance Corporal Corie lost both his legs after he stepped on and detonated an IED while serving in Afghanistan. Corie has competed at the 2014, 2016 and 2017 Invictus Games and the Warrior Games. He now represents Great Britain in Para-Bobsleigh and was the 2018 world cup winner.