The WAAT4 Challenge is a prestigious navigation event in Brecon Beacons National Park, one of three National Parks in Wales. Each year more than 500 competitors take part in either a 20km or 40km Challenge. The event takes place on the third Saturday in June and has raised over £300,000 for many good causes and charities such as Brecon Mountain Rescue, Wales Air Ambulance, Teenage Cancer Trust, PC Rathbones Blue Light Fund and Help for Heroes.
Every year, two teams from the Infantry Battle School (IBS) take part in the event. This year team one took part in 40km race consisting of Corporal Gaurab Gurung (Queen’s Gurkha Engineers and Lieutenant Colonel Shaun Chandler Commanding Officer Infantry Battle School while team two took part in the 20km race consisting of Rifleman Vison Gurung (2 Royal Gurkha Rifles) and Rifleman Paban Budha Magar (2 Royal Gurkha Rifles).
The route was mostly countryside including South Wales’ highest peak – Pen y fan (886m). The course was really challenging; however, it was a fabulous way to experience our glorious countryside. There are very few places in Wales that can beat the Brecon Beacons for the beauty of its landscape – from wild rugged mountains to remote moorland and gentle wooded valleys. We really had a great day, despite a bit of horizontal rain.
The WAAT4 Challenge helped us to improve our fitness through weeks and weeks of hard training whilst developing teamwork and leadership skills among us. It gave us healthy exercise, relieved stress of work and allowed us to spend time in the fresh air with our colleagues. It was not only a physical challenge but very much a mental challenge which rewarded us with the most beautiful scenery and panoramic views that Wales has to offer. The objective of the event was to enable people to work as a team under pressure in an arduous environment as you have to navigate through the different check points in order to reach the finish line in the fastest time possible. By doing this run, we raised money for a number of very worthwhile charities, undoubtedly, having fun at the same time. It was an excellent opportunity for us to promote team work and a great chance to get ourselves involved in a worthwhile and memorable event as part of the community engagement.
Yet again like every year, both teams were successful in securing the first place in both 20km and the 40km Forces Cup category completing the race in two hours 13 minutes and four hours 57 minutes respectively. It was a real sense of achievement for us. I was absolutely delighted to win the competition. I have to say that this was one of the most enjoyable challenges I have partaken in, in recent years! I will most definitely take part again next year!