10 most inspiring charity challenges
The toughest challenges ever completed for charity
If you want to take on a challenge for charity but are lacking in motivation or ideas, then check out this list of 10 inspiring charity challenges that pushed the boundaries of human endurance.
All of these charity crusaders raised much-needed funds for worthwhile causes, and their inspiring stories will encourage you to take on a charity challenge of your own.
Kyle Maynard - Kilimanjaro charity challenge
Climbing the punishing slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro is an impressive achievement no matter who you are, but Kyle Maynard’s successful attempt in 2011 took things to a whole new level. Born a quadruple amputee, Kyle literally crawled up the unforgiving mountain, raising money and awareness for injured war veterans in the process. The title of the book which covers his inspirational tale is also Kyle’s mantra in life; ‘No Excuses’.
John Bishop - 'Week of Hell' charity challenge
When TV funny-man John Bishop was challenged to complete a ‘Week of Hell’ by Sport Relief he thought it would just be a good excuse to lose some weight – how wrong he was. After cycling 185 miles (298 km) from Paris to Calais, he then took on the daunting task of rowing across the choppy waters of the Channel. As if that wasn’t already enough, the final leg of this truly hellish challenge consisted of running three marathons in as many days. The end result? Millions of pounds raised for charity, and one very tired but still smiling comedian.
Janice Meek & Daniel Byles - Polar race charity challenge
This mother and son duo lives for challenge and adventure. Janice and Daniel have conquered a series of daunting charity challenges, including an Atlantic boat race, polar exploration and races to the North Pole. The pair holds the record of being the first mother and son team to row across an ocean, as well as the first to reach either pole. It’s not all just record breaking and adventuring though – Janice and Daniel are heavily involved in charity work, and use their exploits to promote a variety of worthy causes.
Zachary Bonner - American walk charity challenge
While most of his friends were busy playing around and generally being kids, seven-year-old Zachary Bonner was starting his own charitable organisation, the ‘Little Red Wagon Foundation’. The mini-money-raiser is determined to put an end to homelessness, and in 2010 walked across America to raise as much money as possible. Nope, you’re not reading that wrong – he covered the full 2,500 mile (4,025 km) distance from Tampa to Florida on foot, walking about ¾ of a marathon every day.
Noel Bresland - London Eye charity challenge
After the tragic death of his prematurely born nephew Ethan, Noel Bresland pledged to run 223 marathons in his memory, one for each day he was alive. His 30th marathon was a particularly special one, raising money for children’s charities by running the full race distance on a treadmill riding on the London Eye. As well as the gruelling marathon distance, Noel had to compete with his severe fear of heights on the 443 feet (135 metre) tall wheel.
Bonita Norris - Everest charity challenge
For most people the decision to climb Mount Everest comes after years of mountaineering experience, but not Bonita Norris, a 22-year-old university student who decided to take on the world’s highest peak before she’d ever climbed a mountain. She battled against doubters, an eating disorder and severe altitude sickness to successfully reach the summit and raise money for children’s charity Global Angels.
Fauju Singh - 101-year-old marathon charity challenge
Prepare yourself – a 101-year-old man is about to put your running efforts to shame. After starting a bit later than most people – 89 years old to be exact – he has gone on to run 9 marathons and set world records for the 90 plus age group left right and centre. All the while he has been raising money for charities such as the British Heart Foundation. So remember, it’s never too late to start your marathon running career or a charity challenge of your own.
Ellen MacArthur - Round the world charity challenge
When Ellen MacArthur successfully completed her solo round the world sailing trip in 2005 she became the fastest person to do so, finishing in 71 days. As well as a personal challenge, this was also a charity challenge for Ellen, who started the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust in 2003 to help young cancer patients to regain their confidence through sailing.
Sean Swarner - Seven peaks charity challenge
As a teenager Sean Swarner was diagnosed with two rare forms of cancer on separate occasions when he was 14 and 16, and doctors estimated that he had a matter of days to live. He defied the odds and is now one of only around 200 people to have climbed the seven highest peaks in the world, and the only cancer survivor to have successfully summited Everest. Every time Sean climbs a mountain he does so to raise money for cancer charities, and he even visits cancer patients after every successful charity challenge to share his inspirational story with them.
Helen Skelton - Amazon adventure charity challenge
Adventure loving TV presenter Helen Skelton faced her toughest charity challenge yet in 2010 when she took on the mammoth task of kayaking 2,000 miles (3,219 km) along the Amazon River. This solo charity challenge was in aid of Sport Relief, and netted Helen two world records in the process. As well as achieving the record for longest solo kayak journey, Helen also broke the record for furthest distance covered in a kayak in 24 hours by a woman.