The 10,000ft Challenge – Fundraising for the dZi Foundation!

I am raising money to help reconstruct Nepal for dZi Foundation UK, because their work changes lives and communities!

The dZi Foundation – What is it?

The dZi (pronounced “zee”) Foundation works in partnership with some of the most remote communities in Nepal, to create lasting improvements in their quality of life. From education and sanitation to agriculture and transportation, the dZi Foundation improves the lives of many Nepalese; reducing poverty levels.

The dedicated, inspirational and professional characteristics of the dZi Foundation have led to even the most isolated mountainous pockets of Nepal receiving life-changing assistance. Currently serving over 30,000 Nepalese in an expanding network of remote villages,  the limit to the dZi Foundation’s influence is yet to be discovered.

The dZi Foundation accomplishes this through implementing community-driven programs that improve public facilities, public health, income levels and educational opportunities while preserving community unity, the natural environment, and indigenous culture. 

The communities that the dZi Foundation work with match every donation pound-to-pound or dollar-to-dollar, with their contribution in time and labour hours. This essentially doubles the impact of your donation! 

Feel free to donate to the dZi Foundation through my justgiving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Christopher-Durham

EVERY single donation WILL make a difference. You can improve the lives of those in a situation worse than yours.

My relationship with the dZi Foundation

I first became aware of the dZi Foundation and their work, whilst racing on Zwift – The virtual-world application that enables riders, from all over the globe, to ride and race against each other. Team dZi, a cycling team that represents the Foundation increases awareness and has become a prominent feature in the virtual racing scene. I was noticed by a member of Team dZi through my strong performance in races, and I was invited to become a member of Team dZi.

I quickly became aware of the invaluable work the dZi Foundation carries out on a daily basis, and I instinctively felt the urge to do the same – To improve the lives of countless in poverty. And so, I decided to fundraise; I would climb 10,000ft and ride 100 miles!

THE 10,000ft Challenge

Look, this is no easy ride – I had never climbed anywhere near 10,000ft in one ride before, and had only ridden 100+ miles on two occasions. It was far from certain whether I would be able to complete this challenge. I had ridden a 10 mile time trial the day before, as an obvious warm -up 😀 😉 Averaging 27.5 mph in relatively poor conditions, I clocked a time of 21:49 – I reckon I can knock at least a minute from this.img_20160402_1629091352.jpg.jpgJust how high is 10,000ft? Well, to put 10,000ft into perspective, climbing 10,000ft is equivalent to climbing 8 Empire State Buildings stacked on top of each other. 

I live in a pretty flat area, so this was going to involve a lot of hill reps – 35 to be exact.

Here we go!

Setting off at 08:41 GMT, it was cold: 3°C! I did little over 33 miles of flat riding, at a respectable 20mph, prior to the hill-reps in order to ultimately break the 100 mile barrier. I completed the first 10 hill reps with ease – Probably due to huge surges of adrenaline and excitement! I had 25 reps left, and just under 50 miles of riding to do. From here on, the struggling gradually increased 😀

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Constantly fuelling myself whilst riding, I stopped to replace empty bottles and energy bars every 5 hill-reps or so, halfway up the climb, where my family were spectating. Below: I’ve completed half of the distance needed, but only 1/3 of the vertical elevation required – A lot more climbing still to do!

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Rep after rep, I was slowly but surely beginning to tire – I was climbing at a relatively decent rate, as I wanted to get home in time to watch the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix! This, along with roadside support helped me to tick off the feet and miles as I neared my target.

However, I quickly found myself almost completely depleted of energy with 5 reps to go (around 10 miles). With cramp setting in throughout all of my body as well as my legs, I knew that each rep would require careful pacing and strong amounts of determination, if I were to complete the challenge. With just a couple of reps to go, I started to find energy out of nowhere (probably excitement), and I pushed on in an attempt to finish the challenge. I had surpassed the 100-mile barrier by now, but I still needed 10,000ft. 

9,800ft. 9,850ft. 9,950ft. 10,000ft!!! Physically drained, I smiled in pain and relief – I had successfully completed The 10,000ft Challenge!!! Finishing with a total of 102 miles and 10,069ft of vertical elevation, I was elated. Here are some statistics from my ride:

  • Distance: 102 miles
  • Vertical elevation: 10,069ft
  • Number of reps: 35
  • Calories burned: 3832
  • Riding time: 6:07:56
  • Pain intensity: 10/10
  • Amount raised: £1000 + £111.88 Gift Aid

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What is a dZi?

The dZi Foundation is named after the ancient Himalayan etched stone beads that bestow health and protection upon the wearer.

Tibetan dzi bead pic 1 2016.jpg
A two-eyed, tiger-teeth dzi bead.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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