Last year, we looked at inspirational movies to get you inspired to take on something new. This year, we’ve gone a bit more literal. Below, you will find 12 challenges you can undertake this year, inspired by our team, Luchos ambassadors and friends. These events are split between running, cycling, hiking and we’ve even thrown in a few special events that you should try if you want something a bit different this year. These are mostly UK-based but we’ve aimed to include at least a few European events throughout our list. These challenges range from major undertakings to smaller but still major goals and are designed to provide you with some inspiration to maybe take on one of these challenges or identify one of your own!
Running Challenges to Try
Endurance Life 10K
Endurance Life is one of the biggest outdoor event providers in the UK, providing a wide variety of running events throughout the year, rain or shine. They offer a few distance options but their 10KM runs are particularly ideal for a decent challenge for beginners to outdoor running. As mentioned, they offer a wide range of events so check to see when they are coming to your local area and give it a go. Endurance Life events are always very popular and welcoming to newcomers with a brilliant community and plenty of support.
Parkruns have been around for a little while and they have rapidly grown into a major phenomenon. Currently there are over 1000 events running weekly throughout the UK and most of Europe. They are a great way to stay in shape, meet new people and take part in a more relaxed environment. The events take place over 5 KM and happen year round so can be a great way to introduce yourself to the world of endurance running before attempting something more ambitious.
For horse racing fans, there is perhaps no venue more iconic than the Aintree Racecourse, known for annually holding the famous Grand National steeplechase. Thanks to the team at Runthrough, you can now run a 5k, 10k or Half Marathon at the world famous venue with events taking place throughout the calendar year. Sporting challenges are always more interesting with a personal connection or certain significance and getting to run round the iconic venue is bucket list potential. The events are always well-ran and well marked out so this is a really fun event to try out.
Cycling Challenges to Try
South West Cyclo-Cross League
The SWCX league is intended to be a fun, all-inclusive, supportive but competitive series of CX races for all ages which run on Sundays from September through to January each year. CX or Cyclocross racing takes place on technical outdoor courses of grass, dirt, mud, sand or sometimes snow. The South West Cyclo-Cross League is a fun event designed to be a great entry-point for beginners to dip their toes into the wonderful world of competitive outdoor cycling. The hosts pride themselves on being as inclusive and as open as possible so if you want to try your hand at a bit of high-speed fun down south, give them a go.
Yorkshire True Grit Dark Skies
Yorkshire True Grit Dark Skies is a popular and iconic event in the Yorkshire calendar. 50 miles through Yorkshire True Grit country, taking on North Yorkshire Forest, Vale, Moor and Trail – at night. This event forms part of the North York Moors Dark Skies Festival and is a unique opportunity to take part in a night race, illuminated with stars, moonlight and bike lights! This takes place in February on the famous Yorkshire Moors so prepare yourself well for a cold one!
Granfondo Serra Da Estrela
Granfondo Serra da Estrela offers the opportunity for all cycling enthusiasts and lovers to experience the emotions and challenge of high mountain stages in the only destination with these characteristics in Portugal. Steep climbs and long rides. Granfondo events have become incredibly popular with more experienced cyclists as a way to challenge themselves and aim for something higher and this is an iconic location to attempt a proper challenge. Athletes who do not intend to face the greater challenge can opt for Mediofondo, being a great option for those who want to have a first experience in conquering the Alto da Torre.
Hiking Challenges to Try
Three Peaks Challenge
Keen UK hikers will be familiar with the 3 peaks challenge, a national challenge to climb the 3 highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales all in the space of 24 hours. It’s a popular challenge for British hikers to embark on and despite the scope of the challenge, it’s completed by thousands of people every year. Luchos ambassador James Forrest completed the challenge 2 years ago and even walked between the peaks as he did so, collecting the World Record. While that may be a step too far, we highly recommend trying out the three peaks challenge yourself.
Edinburgh 7 Summits Challenge
Discover hidden parts of one of the world’s most stunning cities all while challenging yourself over a tough 35 km trek that includes 900m of ascent. Based in the heart of Edinburgh, the trek will take you to the summit of Edinburgh’s 7 hills that surround the city. A unique and engaging hike, this is a great way to take in the sights and sounds of one of the busiest and most iconic cities in the world. With plenty to do along the way, it makes a great getaway idea for the hiking enthusiast in your life.
Tour Du Mont Blanc
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a 170 km trekking trail through France, Italy and Switzerland. Circumnavigating Western Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc, it is one of the world’s classic multi day treks and is on every serious hiker’s bucket list. With the world finally open again for the first time in 3 years, this is the perfect time to give the tour a go. The iconic trail includes stunning views, scenic locations and tranquil spots throughout the journey, making it a truly unforgettable experience and one you need to do at some point. So why not this year?
Other Sporting Challenges to Try
100KM Canoe Expedition Across Scotland
For the sea-bearers amongst us, a canoe adventure around the Scottish coast is a unique and extraordinary way to travel the seas. Experience a 5-day canoe and wild camping adventure through the lochs and canals of Scotland, from Fort William on the west coast to Inverness on the East coast. The expedition is designed to be fairly accessible but some level of canoe knowledge is recommended to avoid spending much time in the freezing Scottish waters!
Aquasphere Chillswim Ullswater 2023
Aquasphere Chillswim Ullswater 2023 will be held on Saturday 15th July at Parkfoot Holiday Park on the outskirts of Pooley Bridge, this will be the 4th edition of this incredible swimming challenge! Swimmers will complete the full length of lake swim in separate starts based on your average mile pace to give you the best experience possible. The Chillswim is therefore a very accessible event and designed for all regardless of swimming ability. If you are looking for a more adventurous swimming experience than a few laps at the local pool, maybe give something like this a go in 2023.
The CrossFit Games is an annual athletic competition owned and operated by CrossFit. While it is obviously an athletic competition with major athletes involved, the whole idea is to get everyone involved in some way and anyone can apply to compete in events and take part. CrossFit is an incredibly popular fitness regime and has gathered a knowledgeable and engaged community. The CrossFit Games is designed to make a major athletic event more accessible to those just wanting to give it a go and it’s a great way to test yourself and your ability as well as meet new people.
We hope those fitness challenges helped give you some ideas for what you could accomplish for yourself in 2023. Having something to aim for can be a really good push to keep you focused and working towards your goals so whatever it is, try and put something in the planner to challenge yourself this year. For more inspiration and ideas, check out last year’s post on inspiring movies as well as our post on winter sports to try this winter season.