The second leg of the challenge sees Strivers on the first of two cycles from the Italian Alps to the south of Tuscany. Yesterday was the final day before taking a quick nights sleep and setting off again for cycle two!
The route follows a long descent before heading south through traditional Italian towns and countryside towards the world famous coastline of Liguria. This may sound like a breeze but by now the team have already hiked more than 40 miles, encountering some grueling terrain taking them up steep ridges and deep into the mountains.
Speaking earlier today as they set off on day 11, Sam Branson said,
I underestimated how hard the cycling was going to be considering this is the easy leg. Big day today, about 165k and 2000m of climbing.
At the end of each day the Strivers rest up at a new location with the prospect of another demanding day ahead, and this will continue for another 17 days of cycling, swimming, running and hiking. Oh and just a casual para-glide off the top of a volcano to top it all off.
This journey has been months in the making, not only with preparation from the core team, but from all those who have signed up to participate. The challenges they are facing both physically and mentally are for a great cause. The Virgin Strive philosophy is one that resonates with everyone taking part: great things happen when you do it with others. With each stage of the challenge complete, they are growing ever closer to their end goal of raising more than £1.5 million for Big Change.
Founded by a group of friends in 2012, Big Change was created to think differently about the role that charity can play in driving change for young people in the UK. So what does change look like? The funding raised by Strive for Big Change hopes to contribute to organisations which have been set up to encourage young people to grow and adapt to changes both in and out of school. The ethos is simple: you can grow, learn and change for the better – through failure and success alike.