Sophie's Legacy

Polaroid Picture of Sophie


23 March 2015, 14:03

The Purbeck Pursuit is a one day team challenge event on the 25th April based in the stunning rural Purbeck region of Dorset. The event will be based in one central location, with a series of team challenges starting and finishing at or near the base location.

20 March 2014, 11:25

As we all begin to stretch our limbs in the recent glorious British sunshine and plan Sophie’s Legacy Challenge 2014 in Bournemouth (details to follow soon!), we thought perhaps it would be good to start the training season with a little Spring Fling warm up event.

Here's to a great year.
22 December 2013, 11:41

2013 saw five consecutive years of Sophie’s Legacy challenges.

The grand total raised this year has been £33,417.24

Thanks to all of you!

RUGBY - New Zealand Ambassador's XV v Germany
19 September 2013, 14:10

The annual rugby game between the New Zealand Ambassador’s XV and the German National Team is not to be missed! Especially as this year ex-All Blacks captain Taine Randell will be playing for the Kiwis!!
Kick-Off is at 4pm.


Pen profiles for each of the teams taking part in the 2012 Ridgeway Challenge are listed below:

The Brian Man Team

Damian Manning

Why I have I agreed to do this adventure challenge? It’s a good question. Apart from Rob’s constant nagging about joining this year’s challenge in memory Sophie, I also have my own personal reasons. Like Sophie my Dad, Brian, died of cancer. He died on the 4th March this year after being diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer last November. Seeing my Dad suffer from the disease over the last few months has been so incredibly difficult and losing him has left a large gap in my life. He was a fantastic Dad to me and we had such a great relationship, we were the best of friends and I cannot thank him enough for everything he did. He was also a great outdoors person and although he would tell me I am mad for doing the challenge he would be behind me every step – I think I will need all his help to get me through this one! I have coerced some of my friends to undertake this challenge with me and raise money for Hospice in the Weald who helped my Dad in his final days – as you will see below we have a mixture of athletic abilities – Nick ‘the MadMan’ Gibbins will breeze through this one – in fact he is using it as a warm up before competing 100km race on the Saturday after we finish this Sophie’s Legacy challenge!! Hopefully Nick won’t mind too much running at a slower speed than he is used to! Despite what you will read below the team was hand-picked from numerous applicants all wanting to compete in the challenge and join the Brian Man Team – these highly tuned, dedicated athletes are training hard(ish) and will push for honours over the two days. I know we will all enjoy the event – even more so after the finishing line with beer in hand where we will charge our glasses in memory of both my Dad and Sophie.

To donate to Brain Man team’s cause please go to:

Nick Gibbins

Hi, my name is Nick Gibbins and I’m hoping to complete the whole ridgeway challenge in memory of Brian Manning. Brian was my teacher and the father of my friend, Damian. He suffered with and eventually died from pancreatic cancer earlier this year. I am a surgeon by trade treating patients with Head and Neck cancer. As such, I am acutely aware of the incredible job that both Macmillan nurses and Hospices do looking after people and their families when they are approaching the end of their life. I’m doing the Ridgeway Challenge to raise funds for the Hospice that looked after Brian so well and which continues to look after others who need all the care that the Hospice provides. I started my sporting career by playing rugby for many years with Damian. I spent some time being persuaded by much bigger opponents that I really should be playing in the backs, not the forwards finally settling on fly-half as the position that involves the least amount of running. I am nothing if not a complete sucker to peer pressure so signed up for the 2003 London marathon. One thing lead to another and I found myself competing in Ironman triathlons – lunacy! I have since run a few marathons and have dabbled in ultra marathons and this year I was lucky enough to get a place to run the Olympic Park Run. For this challenge I am hoping to do the whole challenge and follow it by driving to the Yorkshire on Friday evening and competing in a 100km trail race on Saturday. I will then lie down for a week. And eat ice cream.

Mark Rogers

Reason: Coerced into taking part whilst enjoying a social drink by two madmen who seem to enjoy punishing their bodies in extreme sporting ways. Pedigree: My Dad ran a half marathon, I’ve only managed 10k so far so why not stretch it to two days of running and biking in the middle of nowhere. Expectations: Low enough so as to not destroy any confidence I have about using my new bike regularly without wincing in pain.

Matt Williams

Always like a challenge and since completing the London to Paris bike ride I thought to throw in running as well over 2 days was a good alternative. Expectations: good bonding session, a chance to hang out with old school friends and meet some new friends, especially over the celebratory beers at the end!

Dave Chandler

I give in easily to peer-pressure but am up for a challenge. Previous experience includes the London 10k on a couple of occasions, working up to the London Half Marathon, and competing in the Rat Race Off Road Triathlon in Bedgebury and an Adventure Mountain Triathlon in the Lake District both with Damian.

007 Heaven

“Lean, mean and rather keen, team 007 Heaven return for a third year of big effort, high top speed and maverick map reading. We lose our founding leader Ed this year to the joys of triathlon; but with replacement Llew joining a tough-as-nails bunch of Rob, Angela, Toby plus one other (to be confirmed) surely victory is but a certainty!”

FIA team

The FIA are still smarting from having to concede that they were not the fastest team in the 2011 challenge. The team has been reformed around the core members of Rachel, Rob & Manu. An injury to Carol has prevented her from returning to the Ridgeway this year. In Carol’s place we have Iain and the last member of the team is the shadowy figure known as L’autre homme, le cinquieme and chacal among other aliases.

Rob has changed his training program significantly from last year due to a knee operation in January. The surgeons have rebuilt him and through a gruelling power and strength conditioning program through February he has emerged from the winter months delivering PB on PB on his bike. Running has been a secondary focus but even here with a new knee the few races he has competed in have seen age group winning performances. As always Rob is raring to go.

Rachel is undeniably fit and has lost none of the competitive edge she has always brought to the Sophie’s Legacy Challenge as proved by her remarkable time in the recent White Horse Half Marathon. As in previous years she will lead the tactical planning for the FIA and ensure that the team always has the mental edge over the other teams. Her strengths lie in the running sections and here she will make certain the team is delivered to the transition points in prime position for the subsequent sections

Manu has traditionally been a lone athlete competing in triathlons, Iron-Man and ultra-marathons. However, as a natural team player his passion for the Sophies Legacy Challenge is incredible. Manu was the heart of the team last year and will be again this coming May. An outstanding athlete, technical cyclist and incredible guy he is the Phlying Phrench Phenomenom.

Iain rejoins Sophie’s Legacy after a two year break. Iain and Rob played rugby together at university where Iain’s electric pace would scare any opposing winger – if only Rob could have one more ball for him! Since retiring from rugby Iain has become a marathon veteran and races regularly for his running club. In February he completed an ultra-marathon so has declared himself fit for team FIA.
L’autre homme, le cinquieme, chacal likes to keep a low profile and to remain beyond the glare of the spot light. His unassuming character masks an assassin like dedication to planning and delivery of performance. He is a specialist cyclist who will add another dimension to the FIA’s ability on these sections.