Blog. The 20,000 Mile Hospitality Challenge

June 11, 2020 | Author: Giuliana Vittiglio

At the start of 2020 Monday 8th June was already firmly in the diary. Our fifth annual Tour de Cuisine Cotswold Cycle Challenge was due to take place at Calcot Manor with some 250 cyclists targeted to raise over £50,000. Yet as the pandemic took hold it was with heavy hearts we were forced to cancel yet another flagship fundraiser.

As Mental Health Awareness Week drew near and the rules regarding outdoor activity loosened we hatched a plan to turn our much loved annual cycling event into a virtual extravaganza. We called upon our supporters to collectively cycle, jog, run or walk 19,491 miles - the length of the entire UK coastline. By cycling local lanes, jogging in the garden or roller-skating around the park, and collecting sponsorship money as they went, our participants were also tasked to raise crucial funds for UK hospitality employees facing ongoing financial uncertainty and mental health pressures due to Covid-19.

Like all good sporting events there was a pasta supper the night before only ours took place across social media. Chef Stevie Parle at Pastaio gave up his time to show us how cook a delicious carbonara for participants to make at home. 

As the challenge launched at 9am on Thursday 4th June we were glued to our screens as our virtual map of the UK lit up. Slowly but surely, we set off from our virtual start line of Domaine EvremondChampagne Taittinger’s vineyard in Kent and by the morning of Day 2, we’d only gone and woken up in Wales!

After five days of the challenge drew to a close and we were blown away by the phenomenal efforts of our 553 participants as they logged their exercise and cajoled others to either sponsor them or join in the fun.

Come nightfall on Day 5 the celebrations were in full swing as donations neared an outstanding £70,000 and we’d safely travelled all the way back to Domaine Evremond. By clocking up the miles for those who can’t clock in Monday 8th June was a day to remember when the industry banded together albeit virtually.

To view more of our participants photos you can visit our photo gallery and if you can make a small donation to The 20,000 Mile Hospitality Challenge you can do so here But be quick! Fundraising closes at 10am on Monday 15th June.