Cal Rose – “1664 Yomp” - Royal Marines Charity Trek
Former Royal Marine Cal Rose has pledged to undertake the annual “Since 1664 Yomp” challenge, on behalf of “The Royal Marines Charity”, over the 2019 May bank holiday weekend. The Yomp is a fast-paced 166.4 km cross-country hike on the undulating South Downs coastal path ranging from Winchester, Hampshire to Eastbourne, East Sussex. The distance in km is a nod to the 1664 year of formation of the Royal Marines, whilst Yomp stands for “Your Own Marching Pace” which came to public prominence in 1982 during the Falklands when commandos marched long-distances across difficult terrain.
For the 36-hour non-stop yomp Cal will be joined by his friend, charity trek enthusiast Tom Sims, and very best friend “Beans” the Hungarian Vizsla, his 5-year old hound. Not content with his status as a first time entrant, Cal has set an additional challenge for man and dog. He hopes that Beans will the first dog to ever complete the gruelling course, at 103.4 miles it’s certainly longer than your average walkies and only very fit dogs like Beans should consider it.
As Cal and his friends train, he will be documenting their progress on his just giving page (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cal-rose) and Beans’ very own Instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/beanstheviz/), where there will be lots of snaps of the photogenic pup!
No sleep till Eastbourne
With Beans’ care to the foremost Cal has arranged for a vet to attend each 23-mile check point to check his welfare, whilst human medics will be on hand along with hot snacks for the weary. The challenge itself is no walk in the park, participants must go without sleep for the duration to ensure finishing in time, according to the official website (https://since1664.com/) it “is that tough that no serving or former Royal Marine who has attempted it has suggested it is easier than any of the famous Royal Marines Commando Tests.” The founder of the challenge and website believes this may possibly be the longest dedicated charity event in Europe. Participants are expected to maintain a relentless 3 mile an hour pace, something which may same easy at first but becomes ever more demanding as the miles, hours and sleep deprivation rack-up between starting on 0500 Saturday and finishing between 1200-1500 Sunday. Not all participants manage to finish the course, and conditions can greatly affect the outcome, in 2011 the failure rate was 75%, whilst in 2014 the success rate was 80%.
All Terrain Training
With such uncertain odds, Cal and his friends are taking training very seriously with a series of yomps in the build-up to the big weekend. Their training will include marching up Scafell Pike once, Mount Snowdown twice, tackling Lulworth Cove’s 18 mile “rollercoaster” route, taking the infamous 30-mile Royal Marines Commandos test on Dartmoor, and even climbing South Africa’s Table Top mountain. Cal aims to cap these weekend yomps to 50 miles maximum at their longest to ensure that they retain their energies for the main event.
What it’s all for
Cal strongly believes in the objectives of “The Royal Marines Charity” (https://theroyalmarinescharity.org.uk/). In their own words they “are uniquely placed to understand, respond and react, enabling Royal Marines and their families to overcome their challenges including life changing injury, life limiting illness, mental disability, transition to civilian life and even poverty”. In tribute to the challenge Cal has set himself a target of £1,664 and welcomes any amount of donation whether big or small.
Cal has already garnered the support of his employer and colleagues at R&M Utility & Civil Engineering Services, where he works as a SHEQ & Training Centre Manager based in Devon. Fellow industry professionals have also got behind him, and one health and safety organisation are promoting his cause over at https://www.safety4good.com. Cal hopes that anyone inspired by his team’s endeavours will circulate this story as widely as possible on social media, local media and any platform available to get the message out there and raise much needed funds.
If you would like to donate and to hear from Cal in his own words, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cal-rose. Don’t forget to keep checking this site and Beans’ Instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/beanstheviz/) for regular progress updates! Many thanks for reading.