TeamLancomms welcomes you to this year's 2009 4x4 challenge!
So preparations are well underway for this year's challenge, again being held on the first weekend of October.
This year we have entered two teams, with my navigator driving his own vehicle (a very tidy Defender 90) with his son navigating. This year I am joined by my old friend (and indeed friend of Lan Comms) Paul Dunlevy as my navvie.
If you came across this webpage having read the article in the Argus (Dundalk's weekly newspaper) then I also welcome you. If you are interested in donating you can use the paypal link on the left hand side of the page, and remember, that while the 4x4 Challenge is a lot of fun, the end charity is the Temple Street Children's hospital.
We were lucky enough to be invited to a presentation and tour of the facilities in Temple Street following last year's challenge and we were very humbled by the work they undertake to make children's lives better, and the dedication the staff there have, especially working in non-ideal conditions but they really make a difference.
We are very aware that money is simply not as easy to come by this year, as it has been in the past, but while this has affected us all, it has also affected the funding that goes to Temple Street, and without that vital funding it's unfortunate but the fact is that children will suffer but with the support of the generous people of Ireland this does not need to happen.
Well myself and Declan made it through the weekend with only one major mishap (details below) and in one piece!
We started off in Oranmore, Co. Galway, and over day one traversed Galway and Mayo across local tracks and lanes, only crossing major roads once in a while. We saw some beautiful scenery, dampened only by the constant rain, and it amazed us every time we came across a house on these roads, that someone still actually lives in these remote areas.
I already mentioned the driving rain, and that played a part in our mishap, there were four river crossings which started life as 12” deep puddles, ending up at 4” raging torrents by the latter part of the day. On the final river crossing we unfortunately broke our rear differential and ended up stranded in the middle of the river, which rose by almost 6” by the time we got out!
So stranded at the side of the road with one set of marshals, we set about trying to get ourselves back on the road for the rest of the event, it was a close call as to whether we’d get the AA to recover my Land Rover, and head for the backup vehicle (Declan’s) which was placed at a strategic location somewhere around Athlone.
We were able to remove all drive to the rear axle by removing both Half-Shafts and the prop-shaft which meant that we were able to continue along our journey. Fortunately we were able to cover all but the most challenging of tracks, only missing out on one of them.
The 2008 4x4 Challenge for Charity aims for record sponsorship in fundraising for Dublin’s Temple Street Children’s Hospital, and this year breached the €100,000 since the inaugural event four years ago. This treasure hunt style driving and navigational event has offroad sections, around hundreds of kilometres of varied landscape, with hidden clues and set tasks. Driver and navigator teams enter in any 4x4 capable of negotiating offroad terrains.
This year, LAN Communications, one of the largest systems integrators in the country, has entered a team of Driver and Navigator, Liam Burke and Declan McCormack. Both Liam and Declan are fervant Land Rover addicts and own classic Land Rovers, and have prepared for the event throughout the year with various modifications to the vehicles like winches, lift kits, raised air intakes and mud terrain tyres.
“I’m particularly apprehensive about the endurance element of the challenge,” comments Liam. “We’ll be driving for forty-eight hours solid with only minimum sleep breaks. Quite apart from driving, we also have to navigate the routes using Discovery Series Maps which have been kindly donated by Ordnance Survey Ireland. It’s going to be quite a journey.”
Please use the button below to donate to the Temple Street Children's Hospital. Every Little Helps.