Latest News

it's the final countdown..

21 Nov 2017

With grateful thanks, many thousands of pounds of Brittany Challenge sponsorship have been received……..but we still do want a lot more!

Do you remember how much your team pledged?  Have you smashed that?  

Preston soon wants to make the Brittany Final Countdown.  

Please circulate to all team members and will all please:

  • Send out or chase up those emails asking for on-line donations to Extra Mile Challenges via VMG/JG
  • For off-line collections, chase up all who have to date avoided you!  Cheques payable to Extra Mile Challenges and where possible for personal donations, please complete the gift aid sponsorship form
  • Send cheques and gift aid forms to Preston at 2 Tudor Gardens, Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes, MK11 1HX.

Please target collecting all sponsorship by end November and remitting all to Preston by early December


Finally, if you want a reminder of this classic song, go to




(for the organising committee)

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Teambuilding and CSR:

23 Oct 2017

With many of our Teams entering as a Company to promote team building - t's also a great way to show Corporate Social Responsibility too!

Local Specialist Contractors Wady Electrical entered our Brittany Challenge this year - with a Team from the Company's employees committed to the 1200.00 minimum fundraising, and aiming for more!! It's a great event to develop Team working, and show commitment to the Community in helping raise funds in a fun way.

Extra Mile Challenges have now raised over ONE MILLION FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS since 2003, and we already have a quarter of Team spaces filled for the 2018 Auvergne Challenge - see for details of the route and dates and get your entry in soon!

Team Entry for the 2018 Challenge is just 1596.00 for a team of 4, and includes:

  • Eurotunnel crossings (return!!) for one vehicle:
  • 4 nights' accommodation in Novotel or similar Hotels in twin rooms:
  • Breakfast every day - with 3 evening meals (we have one evening where Teams can arrange their own meals) and a final night Gala Dinner:
  • A fully signposted and marshalled route - mainly on quieter country roads:
  • With the generous support of our Commercial Sponsors, we are able to direct ALL fundraising to Charity without any expense deduction:
  • GREAT value for  only 399.00 for each rider!!

If you or your Company would like to know more about Extra Mile Challenges, please email - we will be pleased to help answer any questions.

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Extra Mile Challenge Completed!

17 Oct 2017

This year nine 39 teams entered the Extra Mile 2017 Brittany Cycle Challenge!

The event sees teams of 4 cycle over 500 miles across 3 days throughout continental Europe with the aim of raising as much money as possible for local charities in the areas in which Extra Mile challenges operate. This year’s route saw teams cycling through Brittany in France. Starting the weekend in Chartres, we cycled to Rennes, where we spent the second day cycling a loop around the local forests and undulating countryside, with the final day spent cycling along three of the Normandy D-Day landing beaches; Omaha, Sword and finishing the event at Juno Beach. With extraordinary coastal scenery, some sobering commemorations to the fallen of that fateful day in May 1944, and a total of over 26,000ft of gruelling climbs, this year’s cycle was certainly one to remember.

Whilst the event was an enjoyable long weekend of cycling, the main goal of the challenge was to raise money for charity and were hoping that yet again we’ll be able to deliver over £80k to local charities.

Join up today for next year’s challenge by completing and returning the entry form below.

Extra Mile 2018 Flyer

Extra Mile 2018 Entry Form

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Brittany done!!!!

26 Sep 2017

Well done to everyone – and wasn’t that a great Challenge??
Great to get the chance to cycle by the sea, and how did the recce team find those hills?

Rob Anderson – Team 10 Go With The Flow – has some terrific photos on LINK – and you can add to these.

I will be closing the WhatsApp groups at the end of the week; so please save any media you don’t want to lose.

Once again, we managed to get the right balance of weather and route conditions – and my ears are still ringing from that blooming bell as they drove past!!!

The 2018 Challenge entry is now open – and both flyer and entry form are live on the website – I look forward to all of you returning.

Now for the real Challenge – getting sponsor monies collected and sent over to Preston!!

I enclose a further copy of the sponsor form – and let’s make those miles worthwhile.

Thanks for being such a great bunch, and making the whole event so friendly. Thanks to our sponsors – Agria Pet Insurance, Clydesdale, Axis Electronics, Big Rock Climbing Centres, Heald Solicitors and Delomac Roofing -  and a huge thanks to the great Marshalling Team – a huge effort.

Chapeau, mes amis cyclistes!

The Extramile Team

Preston Ayres

Robert Oakley

Martin Banham Hall

Mike Rhodes

Alan Bretherton

Andy Morris

Brendan McNulty

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Route Directions:

11 Sep 2017


Essential turn by turn directions for the Brittany Challenge - please download and print a hard copy for the ride. This tells you all the hills, descents, hotel and other important route information.

Well done to Preston Ayres and Rob Oakley collating this from the route recce and mapping - please use this to plan your rider changes and stops.

The Extramile Team

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Cyclist sustenance with Soreen bars!!!

6 Sep 2017

Extra Mile Challenges will this year be supported by Soreen who will be fuelling the marshals and teams with their deliciously squidgy malt loaf bars, to help provide enough energy to get through the gruelling 500 mile - 3 day challenge.    The snack bars are perfectly sized to carry in the competitors jersey pocket while riding, with packs also being distributed to all marshals and organisers, especially important for the route signage team who are often up before hotel breakfast is served!


Thank you Soreen!


Follow Soreen at 





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22 Aug 2017

With just over 4 weeks to go, now is the time to push for sponsorship, and make those saddle miles easier!!

A couple of things to help are reclaiming Gift Aid. This can easily be done completing details in the sponsor form - this has been distributed to all Team Captains, and even easier on Charity Giving sites.

Preston has set out a few pointers below, and in the attached article -  and you can see we get more Charity Buck with  Virgin Money, so we ask you use this site if possible.

In the next 2 weeks, I will be issuing tunnel crossing details – likely to be 11.50 to 12.20 as a guide – and you will need to complete Advance Passenger Information (API) when you receive a request email from the tunnel (again in a few weeks). We are also finalising room and hotel allocation, and this will all be in time for you to plan your journey times.

Thanks to all who have completed their team details – this makes a volunteer’s work so much easier.

I hope to see you all on the hills and roads around Bedfordshire raining over the next few weeks?

Brendan and the Extramile Team



Raising Sponsorship through Virgin Money Giving (VMG) and Just Giving (JG).

At Extra-Mile we support on-line fund raising – we know it creates a chance for you to send a link to all your friends and contacts to maximise the sponsorship you raise.  Within weeks the money and gift aid gets paid direct to Extra Mile.  It’s very easy.

But there are two important aspects we wish to emphasise:

  • Did you know that JG deducts a percentage fee (based on the amount donated) about three times the amount that VMG deducts?  In addition, JG charges Extra Mile a subscription of £561 per year including VAT, VMG is £nil.  Both provide a similar service so we want to encourage you to please use VMG in preference to JG – our charities will get more!
  • When setting up your VMG (or JG) page, follow the links from our website and make sure that you have Extra Mile Challenges as your selected charity, (not your own choice of charity).  This is crucial because if all your sponsorship goes directly to your charity, you will have to make a separate contribution to the Extra Mile organiser’s charities.

Hardened Extra Milers know that we will invite you to a reception in March 2018 where we will announce the total money raised on the Brittany Challenge and hand you a cheque to present to your chosen charities.

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Fundraising ideas....

1 Aug 2017

Sausages and Sponsorship


How is your fundraising coming along?

Many of us have taken part in previous Extra Mile Challenges and other charity events.  We know how hard –even embarrassing – it can be to keep asking the same friends and family to sponsor us.  We’re always interested to hear about your different or innovative approaches.  At the end of the day our primary aim is to raise funds for distribution to charity – the good causes you’ve chosen, as well as the organisers’ selections.

One way of easing the pain can be to offer something in return.  Martin Banham-Hall and Jayne Smith, both members of the Heald Wheeled team for the Lake Geneva Challenge and again this year, are also active members of Bedford Rowing Club.  This July they organised a barbecue at Martin’s home specifically for Club members and their families.  Food and first drink were provided for £10 (kids free) with a small charge of £2 for subsequent Pimms, wine or beer and 50p for soft drinks. 

More families came along than expected, and some kind souls even brought food to contribute to the feast.  Some unable to attend made a donation anyway.  Overall a profit of just over £500 was made, and a great social occasion enjoyed by all.  Martin and Jayne told us that last year, simply passing the hat round at the Club AGM raised far less. 

Could you organise a BBQ, a dinner party or (if you have a talent) maybe an art or craft sale or a musical event?  It may raise more than you think, be fun to put on, and stop your friends from crossing the street as you approach because they know you’re going to ask them for money. 

Maybe you have your own ideas?  We’d love to hear about them at  

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Ride for Willen

17 Jul 2017

As a long time supporter and Beneficiary of Extramile Challenges, we hope you will be able to join the 2017 Ride for Willen - Sunday 20 August.

Starting at Mitchell Hall at Cranfield University, there are 3 routes available ensuring options for all riders with routes being signed by the excellent Extramile Marshaling Team!!

  • The Super 65 route (65 miles and over 2750 feet of climb) takes you down to above Leighton Buzzard, across to Winslow, Stony Stratford and through into Bedfordshire at Turkey:
  • The Fantastic 40 (40 miles and 1750 feet of climb) takes you north of Milton Keynes to Hanslope, Olney and back trough Turvey:
  • The Heaven 27 (27 miles and 1150 feet of climb) keeps you East of the M1 joining the other routes at Stoke Godington and through Olney and Turvey:

The standard 29.00 entry fee is discounted to 19.00 for Extramile Participants - with 14.00 for accompanied kid over 14.

It would be good to support Willen on this ride - and be a great chance for a training ride experiencing the Marshal Team signing with barely a month to go before the Brittany Challenge.


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Big Rock Sportive

30 Jun 2017

August 6th 2017 - a date for your diary to join us and Extramile Supporter Big Rock Climbing Centres in a training ride around Milton Keynes.

We will have ride distance options for the ambitious and enthusiast, as well as a more relaxed shorter ride - starting from and finishing at Big Rock in Kingston, Milton Keynes. As other years, the route will be arrowed and marshalled by the excellent Extramile Marshal Team  so you have no excuse in getting lost!!

This is an excellent opportunity for a social ride with the chance to meet other Challengers, Organisers and the MarshalTeam - and we normally have a BBQ at the end of the route to replenish those lost calories.

More information will be posted here and through our mail distribution list this and with the Willen Ride on 20th August Teams will be fitter than ever for September.

With additional Hotel room allocation, we now have just 2 Team spaces left, so if you are able to join us, or know ofsomeone who would be interested, email for details.

The Extramile Team

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What a route!!!

1 May 2017

The Ups and Downs of the Brittany Challenge

Rob Oakley and Preston Ayres have returned from their survey of the entire 500-mile route of this September’s Brittany Challenge.  Here is their insight into what is in store for all teams who have signed up for this adventure.

Overall route comments

Not a mountain in sight – no Vosges, Black Forest, Switzerland or Luxembourg, no 5-6 mile climbs of 7-10% – so this will be a ride in the park or simply promenading alongside the Normandy beaches.  Well…..actually No!  Over the three days we have over 26,000’ of elevation gains which are spread fairly evenly over the entire route.  There are many short hills (and a few longer ones) and we will mark those over 10% on the route notes!

Other features include:

  • Many Brittany churches with a variety of different tower designs
  • A few chateaux en route
  • Some great views of the English Channel and some of the north coast bays of France
  • Very few drives in and out of cities to reduce cycling in busy towns
  • Two nights in Rennes and an opportunity to look around the city
  • A much shorter drive back to Calais than in previous years.


In Chartres on Thursday night, most of us are in the Novotel with a few of us in the adjoining Petit-Dej Hotel.  We will all eat dinner and breakfast in the Novotel.

In Rennes we have exclusive occupancy (a first for Extra Mile) of Novotel Rennes Alma.  We all eat there on Friday night.  On Saturday, dinner will be at your choice of restaurant in Rennes (hotel restaurant is closed).  There are two benefits to this, firstly it creates the opportunity for you to see Rennes and secondly, you will not be subjected to any speech by Preston!

In Caen we are split between Mercure Cote de Nacre (where we are holding our Gala Dinner) and Novotel Cote de Nacre.  Both hotels are north of the city, just over a mile apart, which is two stops on the tram (which does run late into Sunday evening).

Our Route in a little more detail (Download the PDF)


We get the Channel Tunnel late morning and then have a 214 mile drive to Chartres – our recommended route is via Rouen, not Paris.  The striking cathedral can be seen for many miles before we get to Chartres.  The journey should take approximately 4 hours and you should be in the hotel bar well before dinner timed for 7.45pm.  Dinner will be followed by our mandatory safety briefing.

Friday – Day 1 Cycling – 171 miles – 9886ft elevation gains

We travel due west today and cycle through many forests to provide a little protection (either from the hot sun or perhaps a westerly breeze).  We spend many miles in the Commune du Parc du Peche – look out for chateaux, ruins and fish lakes.  By choosing the best roads to cycle, we finish short of Rennes in a square by a cafe in the village of Port Brillet.  We then have a 40 minute drive to our hotel.

Saturday – Day 2 Cycling – 174 miles – 7388ft elevation gains

We have a 35 minute drive to our cycle start at Caulnes (east north-east of Rennes).  We head north to the Brittany coast (our first picture above is at the start of the climb to the cliff top at Cap Frehel).  This is Extra Mile’s first ever trip to the seaside.  We drop inland and cross the river Rance south of Dinard/St Malo before we return to the Emerald Coast and the Bay of Mont St Michel.  Then it’s back to Rennes for dinner in town.

Sunday – Day 3 Cycling – 165 miles – 8,948ft elevation gains

 We cycle out of Rennes early Sunday morning and again head north – this time towards the Normandy D-Day Landing beaches.  On the way we have an interesting 12% climb from the bottom to the top of the Barrage de Vezins (see pictures).

Our last 30 miles take us past “Omaha”, “Gold” and “Juno” beaches, past many monuments, a few tanks, pontoon bridges, the Arromanches caissons and a few interesting buildings. 

We finish in the coastal town of Courseulles adjacent to the Juno Museum which pays tribute to the Canadian troops who fell in June 1944.  It is then a short drive into the north side of Caen.

A quick story to put the last 30 miles into context.  On the Monday morning at the hotel we chatted to two 91-year old war veterans proudly displaying their many medals having been just 17 when they first landed on the Normandy beaches.


The drive back to Calais is just 210 miles, about 3 ½ hours driving time.  Channel crossings are booked for late afternoon allowing a couple of hours sightseeing in Caen (castle, cathedral, port), back to the landing beaches or a quick stop at Honfleur on the return journey.  We return across the Pont de Normandie (where Rob insisted on driving in the left lane as it was further from the edge!).


Since our route check, I have updated the cycling routes on ridewithgps.  They can be viewed at:

Have a look, the scale can easily be amended to view more detail.

We look forward to seeing you in Brittany for another amazing Extra Mile Challenge and perhaps on one or two training rides before September (which will be announced shortly).

If you have not yet entered the Brittany Challenge, at the time of writing there are still a few team places available.  But enter without delay because our hotel in Rennes defines our absolute maximum number of teams at 43 this year.

Happy training

Preston Ayres & Rob Oakley

29 April 2017

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14 Apr 2017

Don’t miss out on Early Bird discounted entry!

The Early Bird discounted entry fee for the Brittany Challenge on 21-25 September is just £1,496 for the whole team of four.  This includes quality hotel bed and breakfast for 4 nights, channel tunnel crossing, grand gala dinner on the last night, dinner on two other nights and a lot of direction arrows for 500 miles).  This is fantastic value (due to our amazing commercial supporters).

BUT to qualify you must submit your entry form and pay the entry fee in full by 30 April 2017 latest.  Don’t miss out – Act now.

Entry forms are available from our website  

Initial entry information is easy to complete and the forms indicate how to pay the fee.

For existing entries who have paid a deposit, it is important to submit the balance by 30 April

In addition, if you entered the Lake Geneva Challenge and have encouraged a new team to enter our Brittany Challenge, download the Porsche Experience Flyer – you may qualify for this fantastic Porsche driving experience.  The deadline for this competition is also 30 April.  Flyer link is on our website Home page.

We look forward to seeing you in Chartres, Rennes, Caen and on the scenic roads joining these great cities.

From the Extra Mile team

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Great achievement!!

30 Mar 2017

Extramile Challenges held the Annual Presentation Evening at Corner 5 recently.

Riders, Commercial Supporters and Marshals from the 2016 Lake Geneva Challenge were joined by representatives of the Organiser's Charities to hear how such an enjoyable ride last September had raised such a tremendous amount for good causes.

With a huge headline figure of £82440.00, the totals raised since 2003 now exceed 1.4 million pounds! And remember, all fundraising is donated without any deduction - thanks to the generous support of our Commercial Supporters.

Over 40 Charities benefited from this year's Challenge - with each of the 3 core Charities this year receiving SIX THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED POUNDS!!!

Everyone - a massive well done - and now for 2017!

With more than 20 Teams already entered, and paid (or promised!!) deposits, places are filling fast. Take a look at the flyer and entry form on the website home page and get your entry over to us soon to avoid disappointment.

As always, we listen to your feedback - and we have a shorter run home, multiple nights staying at one centre and have reintroduced our scatter evening - so you can take in a little more of France than the Novotel pool!!

Well done everyone, and we look forward to seeing you all at our summer Big Rock Sportives and on the Challenge in September.

The Extramile Team

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Get on your bike..

4 Mar 2017

Lots happening here at Extramile HQ.

We have the 2016 Presentation Evening at Corner 5 in Kempston Box End on March 20th - always a great chance to meet with old friends and new, find out about the Brittany Challenge and hear how your hard work has helped local Charities. If you haven't received - or accepted - your invitation yet, please email and we will sort this out for you.

The Brittany Challenge 2017 has been launched - currently with 15 Teams signed up and many more corralling Team Members ready for September. Brittany is an area we haven't visited on the Challenge before, and has the added benefit of being a good deal closer to Calais!! Take a look at our website front page for details and the entry form -

We have a fabulous offer to new and splinter teams entering this year - with the chance to win one of 4 places on a Porsche Experience Day at Silverstone - again, take a look at the flyer on our home page. Take the chance to experience high speed, ice hill and skid pan driving on closed roads with expert tuition - and food as well!!

We have the survey results in, and have taken all the fabulously constructive comments on board - we can't stay complacent, and strive to make each Year's Challenge better value and even more enjoyable; is this possible??

Talking of value, we are massively grateful to our Commercial Supporters - whose generous sponsorship allows us to keep entry costs low and ensure all fundraising is distributed without any deduction.

Welcome back to Axis Electronics, Agria Pet Insurance, Heald Solicitors, Clydesdale, Big rock Climbing Centre and Delomac Roofing;  a very big THANK YOU.

If you need to contact us, please email - we will get straight back to you!

See you all soon - 

The Extramile Team

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Survey results:

21 Feb 2017

We have taken time to review all responses to our recent survey, and there have been many valuable and constructive suggestions and comments.The feedback really is tremendously useful in planning and improving our Challenges, and showing the support of Commercial Supporters is recognised and appreciated.
A few that we will particularly try to address:

  • Vary the Challenge timetable- multi-night stays are popular, but can restrict the geographical reach of our routes:
  • Try to reduce the long journey back after the Challenge - maybe starting further south and heading back towards Calais:
  • Allow 'scatter' evenings for Teams to be able to eat out in the towns we visit independently:
  • Be even more simple and transparent with fundraising collection - and how this is distributed;
  • Consider signage differentiation where 2 days' routes coincide in coming in and going out:
  • Improve the finish line experience to allow teams to celebrate their achievement together:

We hope to see many of you on the Brittany Challenge 2017, which already checks many of your wish list points: take a look at for details of the Challenge and the chance to win one of 4 Porsche Driving Experiences.
Thanks again,
The Extramile Team

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Ride a Porsche...

16 Feb 2017

With entries now open for the 2017 Extra-mile Brittany Challenge, there are some great incentives on offer to New and returning Teams. Take a look at the Brittany Route and details on our flyer - download here:

The first step is to register your team by returning the entry form to - download the entry form here, and then sending Preston your deposit cheque.

On receiving the entry form, we can then send a link to the online entry system to collect further Team, Rider and Vehicle details.

To encourage New Teams, we have on offer 4 places at the Porsche Driving Experience at Silverstone - where you can test Boxsters, Cayman and 911s on the Porsche track - including several water and ice simulation sections and a chance to view some of the current and classic Porsche on display. Take a look at the flyer for full details - PORSCHE EXPERIENCE

We are also holding our annual Presentation - again at Corner 5 in Kempston Box End. Always a good chance to meet your friends from the Challenge. Cheques will be presented for the 2016 Lake Geneva Challenge, and we will be updating on the plans for 2017.

Please let Rob Oakley know for catering if you and your friends are able to come -

Monday 20th March 2017 from 6.00pm - 8.00pm at Corner 5 Restaurant & Bar
Box End Park, Box End, Kempston, Bedford,
MK43 8RQ

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Pack your bucket and spade! For the first time ever, our 2017 Challenge will take you to the seaside

16 Feb 2017

We’re off to Brittany - for its craggy shoreline, its rolling countryside, its forests, its history and of course its cuisine. As ever, we’ve scoured the landscape to devise a strikingly beautiful route. It will show you Brittany at its most glorious.

Book the dates in your diary 21st – 25th September 2017 for yet another fantastic Extra Mile Challenge.

Click this link for our initial brochure

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