SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity is launching its 2024 Warrior Challenge, which will be held in the desert of Morocco. The event is aimed at serving or retired Armed Forces personnel and gives them a chance to have an adventure of a lifetime and raise money for the Armed Forces charity, all at once.

The event will be over a four-day weekend, with the run/tab being a two stage ultra-marathon that takes place in and around the city of Ouarzazate in early November, covering much of the same ground that saw the filming of Gladiator 2.

Event organiser, SSAFA’s Richard French said: “The Warrior Challenge is unique; we bring together serving personnel and veterans to challenge them physically and mentally. The Ultra is hard work, but we approach it as a team and help each other along. Nothing compares to that feeling of camaraderie that you get from grizzing it out with your friends and having a common purpose.”

The ultra marathon is run, or tabbed, over 48 hours. Travel, accommodation, and branded kit is provided, and there is a legendary party at the end of the event.

Dan Collinson, who ran last year’s Warrior’s Challenge in the Azores said: “It really hurt, and I honestly should have done a bit more training, but here I am, signed up again for this year! It was such a great experience.

“It was brilliant to be around soldiers again. We had such a laugh and helped each other when it got tough. I didn’t know most of the people competing last year but I made some friends for life, and we can’t wait to do it all again in Morocco.”

Dan, who served in the Coldstream Guards twenty years ago, and who now runs a scaffolding company in Bristol, liked the idea of supporting a military charity so much that his company, L&C Scaffolding, sponsored the event.

Dan said: “At least 30 per cent of the people in my industry are ex-forces. A lot of them struggle with their mental health or find it difficult to transition from the Forces to civilian life. I had it easy and I’m grateful for that. I now want to help others who might not have been so lucky.”

Steve O’Brien was the biggest individual fundraiser for the 2023 event, raising over £4,500, which was a phenomenal achievement given that he suffered an injury, meaning that he could not run the event, but matched his teammates, mile for mile, on his bike.

In 2023 the Warrior Challenge raised over £55,000, helping SSAFA to support military families, and veterans, in times of crisis. Learn more here.