Commonwealth Games Medal Winner Sam Haughian raced to victory in Land Rover's six kilometre Experience Challenge, a tough run on its Adventure Zone at Bluewater in Kent, Europe's largest retail and leisure complex. The challenge, which took place on Sunday 20th July, saw the winner claim a £500 first place cash prize.
The victor competed with nearly 50 other runners, covering the same demanding terrain as Land Rover vehicles. Entrants battled against the clock to negotiate the steep mineworkers shack, clamber over slippery logs and descend a 12 metre long 42-degree slope. The challenge was part of Run Bluewater, a four-race programme, providing a distinct contrast to the 1.5 km family fun run and 10km flat road course.
Men's category winner Sam Haughian, who competed in the World Cross Country championships several times, was surprised by the variety of extreme terrains, but had clearly trained hard securing an impressive time of 17.5 minutes. Catherine Harvey emerged as the winner in the Women's category and runs with Medway and Maidstone Athletics Club, representing the county in numerous cross-country events. Catherine finished the six-kilometre course in just under 24 minutes.
The off-road course, opened in June 2002, has been a great success with 6,500 people having experienced it to date. It proved an ideal setting for the challenge, with runners enjoying the water feature and steep climbs; the uneven rock strewn surfaces offering the ultimate test of balance and composure.
Land Rover Marketing Programmes Manager, Bill Welch, said: "Land Rover's Experience Challenge was a great opportunity for runners to compete against the clock on the same demanding terrain that our vehicles overcome with ease. The winners applied real skill and stamina to stay ahead of the field and it was great to see such a high calibre of competitor there."Published 24 July 2003