‘If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere’

Frank A. Clark.

HIKE (1 – 8 Sept)
distance
Distance: c. 66km
elevation
Elevation: 5072m
stage end
Stage Start/End: Zermatt / Rima St Guiseppe
money
Entry Fee: £2.5k / Fundraising Target: £2.5k
entry fee inclusion
Entry Fee Inclusions: Flights, transfers in Switzerland/Italy, Accommodation for 7 nights, F&B, guiding, selected items of kit and more

The challenge kicks off with a stunning 5 day hike from the base of the Matterhorn, into Northern Italy. The route takes in the Tour de Monte Rosa for the first 3 days and has a harder rating than the Haute Route or other multi-day treks.

The days are long and the terrain is remote. The reward is beautiful hidden valleys, spectacular views and great hospitality (in mountain refuges), coupled with incredible company, it is set to kick the challenge off with quite a bang! Due to the popularity of this leg, we are splitting Strivers into two groups, walking a day apart. You will be assigned a group but if you are signing up with others, please let us know and we will do our best to ensure you are grouped together. (Flights, accommodation, food and beverage, selected kit and guides included in the entry fee. For more info visit FAQ section and participant T&C’s)

CYCLE 1 (8 – 14 Sept)
distance
Distance: c. 745km
elevation
Elevation: c. 7,740m
stage end
Stage Start/End: Rima St Giuseppe / Magliano in Toscana
money
Entry Fee: £1.5k / Fundraising Target: £2k
entry fee inclusion
Entry Fee Inclusions: Flights from the UK, transfers in Italy, accommodation for 7 nights, food and beverage, medical support, selected pieces of kit and more!

From the Italian Alps to the south of Tuscany, the first five days on the bike cover some of the most classic cycling roads in Italy. The route follows a long descent before heading south through traditional Italian towns and countryside towards the world famous coastline of Liguria.

From here the journey continues onto Tuscany and the stunning walled city of Lucca, then the vineyards of Chianti and the roads, villages and hills the region is famous for. This Stage takes in the Italy people talk about – and participants will soon see why so many pro cyclists are based here. With sections of Strada Bianchi (part of the UCI European Tour, are held on historic white gravel roads that are a defining feature of the event) and the classic L’Eroica Granfondo within the Stage’s route.

STRIVERS will experience a cycling environment like a pro as they head south towards the final Stage destination. Each day on this leg has been graded between moderate and medium by our cycle experts, making it the leg for the less experienced cyclist. Flights, accommodation, meals, support, selected kit and much more included in the entry fee – for more info visit FAQ section and participant T&C’s)

CYCLE 2 (14 – 20 Sept)
distance
Distance: c. 675km
elevation
Elevation: c. 6,190m
stage end
Stage Start/End: Magliano in Toscana / Salerno
money
Entry Fee: £1.5k / Fundraising Target: £2k
entry fee inclusion
Entry Fee Inclusions: Flights from the UK, transfers in Italy, accommodation for 7 nights, food and beverage, medical support, selected pieces of kit and more!

After a final taste of Tuscan scenery, the second cycle stage continues the journey south into some lesser known, but equally beautiful, areas of Italy. Hidden lakes, ancient Roman towns, hilltop villages and coastal castles all feature during this off the beaten track ride. The route also takes in part of the 2016 Giro D’Italia route and finishes in more familiar territory as participants ride past Mount Vesuvio before finally staying overnight on the Almalfi Coast at the end of the Stage.

Although the days are shorter in distance, the climbs are steeper meaning this leg has been graded Moderate, making it perfect for cyclists with a bit more experience or people up for a challenge. Flights, accommodation, meals, support, selected kit and much more included in the entry fee – for more info visit FAQ section and participant T&C’s)

CYCLE 3 (20 – 26 Sept)
distance
Distance: c. 690km
elevation
Elevation: c. 10,265m
stage end
Stage Start/End: Salerno / Villa San Giovanni
money
Entry Fee: £1.5k / Fundraising Target: £2k
entry fee inclusion
Entry Fee Inclusions: Flights from the UK, transfers in Italy, accommodation for 7 nights, food and beverage, medical support, selected pieces of kit and more!

Epic coastal roads, mountain top villages and giant olive groves mean our STRIVERS have the opportunity to experience the best of Southern Italy. Once south of Naples the pace of life slows and the temperature rises, giving the region a rustic charm typical of times gone by.

As the route skips between mountains and sea, participants pass through two national parks and get their first glimpse of Sicily on an amazing descent from the South’s highest point down to the Strait of Messina where Stage 4, and fifteen days of stunning cycling ends. The route profile for this leg reads like a hospital heart monitor, with some stunning and famous climbing in the mix, this is the leg for the more experienced cyclist, or for anyone who wants to really strive. Flights, accommodation, meals, support, selected kit and much more included in the entry fee – for more info visit FAQ section and participant T&C’s)

TRIATHLON (26 – 30 Sept)
distance
Distance: 3.7km Swim, 120km Bike, 21km Run/Hike
elevation
Elevation: 7,230m
stage end
Stage Start/End: 26th Sep Villa San Giovanni, 30th Sep Summit Mt Etna
money
Entry Fee: £1.5k / Fundraising Target: £2.5k
entry fee inclusion
Entry Fee Inclusions: Flights to/from UK, transfers, accommodation for 4 nights, food and beverage, swim safety, MTB hire, medical support, selected kit and more!

The Final Stage and arguably the toughest, the Triathlon is a completely new format for the STRIVE Challenge series. For Core Team members, it means swimming from Italy to Sicily, across the Straits of Messina, an infamous and treacherous stretch of water. Because of local regulations, Stage Strivers will not be swimming the Straits of Messina, but instead will be swimming a coastal course off the Northern Coast of Sicily.

The same distance but a little safer, everyone will then meet for lunch, afterwhich we will complete 30km of mountain biking. Day 2 will see STRIVERS following the Perloritani Ridge, again on mountain bike, for 80km approaching the foothills of Mt Etna itself. There are few words to describe the beauty of this trail: from crests to gorges, to crevices and stunning views that suddenly open onto the Ionian sea, Etna, and the Tyrrhenian Sea where participants can glimpse the volcanic archipelago.

The final day of the entire challenge sees all Strivers run a half marathon to within 10km of the volcano’s summit, where we will meet volcanic guides and hike the final 10km to the crater ridge, an incredible finale to a month of Striving. Flights, accommodation, meals, support, mountain bikes, volcanic guides, selected kit and much more included in the entry fee – for more info visit FAQ section and participant T&C’s)

We are now swimming on the afternoon of the 26th September and 2 doing days of mountain biking, due to the length of the MTB route. This means that people flying on the 26th will have to travel straight to the beach, have lunch, get changed and swim. Or you can fly on the 25th, subject to availability, and have 24 hours to prepare. When you are signing up you will be given the option to fly on the 25th or 26th.