Gladi8or endurance challenge returning to Thetford

Preview of Gladi8or endurance course''Pictured:  Andi Deeks, the organiser, around the track ANL-140411-163840009
Preview of Gladi8or endurance course''Pictured: Andi Deeks, the organiser, around the track ANL-140411-163840009

Organisers of an endurance challenge in Thetford Forest, started up last year to promote the woodland and raise money for charity, have announced its return in 2015.

The Gladi8or event was devised by motorsport enthusiast Andi Deeks, who fell in love with the forest and wanted a way to promote it in Norfolk and beyond.

The gruelling eight-mile course will be set up in the woodland around Little Lodge Farm, a horse-riding holiday destination near Santon Downham, with obstacles including tyres, hay bales and timber walls.

Andi, of sports management company DKS Sport, said: “We got thinking about the area’s association with the Romans. In this challenge we are gladiators going in to do battle, so to speak.

“It is not a race, it is a challenge. You push yourself to do the obstacles you want to do, and the only pressure is what you put on yourself.

“Thetford Forest is a beautiful place, so to utilise it for such a great event is brilliant.”

Around 300 people took part in the Gladi8or event last year, from which all the proceeds went to the British Heart Foundation.

More than 90 people have so far signed up to take part in next year’s challenge, on February 7 and 8, running for a charity of their choice.

Andi said: “It is harder and more demanding than a normal cross-country course. The ground is so undulating, it can be hard to find a rhythm.

“Because it is not a race, there is real camaraderie. It is about coming up and enjoying what this phenomenal environment has to offer.

“We are going to put up more obstacles this year, and we also have permission to go on to the other side of the river, so there will be some chances to get wet.”ap

To sign up, visit www.gladi8or.co.uk.