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Mark Webber Challenge raises a million dollars for charity
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Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Dec 2011   |  10:23 am GMT  |  23 comments

The Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge has drawn to a close after a five gruelling days, in which Webber himself competed in the early stages.

A 60-strong field of athletes in two-person teams took on some of Australia’s most rugged scenery, racing on foot, with a paddle and pushing pedals.

This year’s Challenge covered a course of around 350km and involved a variety of disciplines including kayaking, mountain biking, trail running and rope work.

Webber took part in the early stages, but having finished third in the world championship thanks to his win in Brazil, he had to attend the FIA Gala on Friday night in Delhi, so had to cut short his stay in Tasmania.


“It’s such a buzz to have the event back on again – I’ve missed it,” said Webber who was hurt on a bike in the 2008 event, the last time it was held.

“The event is quickly regaining momentum. It’s amazing to think it started off as just a trek through the bush with a few mates back in 2003 and now it’s raised more than a million dollars for charity through the Mark Webber Foundation.

“We live life in a bit of a fishbowl in F1 and it’s great to get back out to nature,” added Webber. “What I love about the Challenge is not only the scenery but also the chance to get to know some real characters. Everyone has a similar mindset – it’s competitive, but there’s also a lot of camaraderie involved.”

The gruelling event was won by Team Iron House comprising Tasmanian Mark Padgett and British athlete Mark Hinder, who also lives on the island.

“Mentally more than physically it’s really tough,” Hinder said. “We’ve done 35 hours of racing and we’ve done it at race pace and navigating, so it’s pretty mentally demanding.

“Today was probably mentally the hardest day. Everyone was saying with local knowledge we’d walk it in, but up until half an hour before we still didn’t know where we were going and that was the real unknown about it.”

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23 Comments
  1. Owen says:

    Seems if you want to do well in the Mark Webber challenge, your name should be Mark …

    1. Mark Owen says:

      Well Owen, as I have the name Mark Owen, I should be a certified winner! (or maybe just certified) lol

  2. L33t_Of_Lag says:

    Nice going to all involved.

  3. Torri says:

    As a kayak paddler myself, Mark looks like he has a decent technique. Maybe he should drop driving cars and take up some real racing instead ;)

  4. renato nysan says:

    Good on ya, mate!

  5. [MISTER] says:

    Well done Mark.
    He is one of the top drivers in my list I wish I would shake their hands and meet.

    Wish him all the best for 2012.

  6. KerbRider says:

    Great to see this event in Tasmania. The small “unknown” island of Australia. As a Tasmanian, I would like to thank Mark for helping put us on the map around the world. The additional exposure in Europe is a great thing for the state. It really is a beautiful place, but dont all come at once, we want to keep it this way.

  7. Dan G says:

    Good to see a driver using their profile for something worthwhile and doing it off their own back instead of being forced to by the teams PR group.

    Hopefully we see more and more of these kind of events by drivers in the future as it in my mind justifies the large pay packets they get when they use their image to promote worthwhile causes.

  8. brooksy007 says:

    1 million dollars, that’s amazing!! I really like how MW has a giving attitude to worthwhile causes! It is a great thing to do given that anytime away from the media and fans must be precious to anyone in MW position!

    Now go on and use this good karma mate to kick some butt next year!! Let’s hope u also have the car to your liking next year!!

  9. APASUNOC says:

    This is why I think Webber is one of the best drivers of the grid as a perosn.

    Sure some drivers give to charity, others make a fuss but Webber actually gets lots of people involved in doing something most want to do but don’t get the chance… all in one place.

  10. JK says:

    What’s that lady doing in the first photo? Is she waiting for a crocodile to jump out of the water and bite her water flask?

    1. KerbRider says:

      No crocs in Tassie JK. but LOL

  11. Thebe says:

    A very bold statement from De Resta, I really dont believe any of this , the same thing was said about Schumacher when he was winning , that it was the car that was winning and nothing to do with his ability to drive the car.

    There were some races, one or two where Meclaren has been very close to Red bull in qualifying and yet he (Seb) just manages to find pace from somewhere , Red Bull have given him a good package and he is using it very well, pushing the car to its limits , thats how you win championships. Having a good car is essential to winning races & titles but it is still very much up to the driver to get everything out that car and to get it to the chequered flag.

    1. MISTER says:

      Mate, I think you got the thread wrong.
      This is about MW and his charity challenge.

      Cheers!

  12. TheBrav3 says:

    Much love to you mark way to go.

  13. Richard D says:

    Well done Mark! Just goes to show how fit some of the F1 drivers are with Mark doing his endurance events and Jenson a Triatholan star!

  14. Antony Biondi says:

    Hi James,

    A totally unrelated matter, but have you seen the images from Red Bull’s home coming on Saturday?

    I was having a look through and I noticed a new exhaust design that I hadn’t seen before (on cars pre blown diffusers) and was curious to know if you believe that this could be a sneak preview into RB’s car for next year and could they get any relevant data just from such an event?

    1. James Allen says:

      I’ll look into it, thanks

  15. Lynn says:

    So James how’s your lunch with Dany?
    Any updates?

  16. Jason says:

    On an unrelated note James, who took the current image your using as a banner for your site, i’d like to get a copy.

  17. WoZ says:

    It’s always refreshing to see F1 drivers donate their efforts to raising money for the less fortunate. I hope the event continues long after his F1 career comes to a close.

    But perhaps next year he’ll schedule the MW challenge on a weekend when the FIA gala is not on? :)

  18. JohnBt says:

    Been there once many years ago. Yeah, Freycinet Park, is a beautiful nature reserve and very rugged though.

    Kudos to Mark once again for his great charity work and contribution. Good on ya mate.

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