MAD Seat – One Month On

Since our record breaking, leg burning, pledge raising Arthur’s Seat event last month, we’ve been reflecting on the amazing achievements of our participants. Between them, they amassed 487 ascents and descents of the Seat, collecting sponsorship through 555 behaviour changes.

We’ve shown you the numbers and named our official winners, but 1 month on we thought it was time to pass the mic and hear the real stories behind the MAD Seat Champions.

Gemma Stenehouse – Do Nation Champion – 109 pledges raised

Anyone who knows me knows that I am no exercise fiend – I cry at the thought of a half-hour run! But I do like a challenge and I loved the fact that MAD Seat was a physical and mental challenge, coupled with a cause I am passionate about.

It was harder than I imagined physically and mentally possible (especially when the rain turned the steps into an ice rink) but seeing everyone persevere, especially the runners, and thinking about the cause really pushed me on. It was such a rewarding experience and I would definitely encourage others to take part for the achievement and the cause. It will also give you an infinite appreciation for flip flops!

Lewis Breen – MAD Master Champion – 48 ascents in 24 hours

I cannot recommend MAD Seat enough. I have a passion for trail running and a keen interest in sustainability which made the event all the more appealing, especially when you look into what MAD Challenges and Do Nation are all about. The concept of having people sponsor you via environmental pledges rather than money is something that I feel is quite revolutionary. It invites people to look at their carbon footprint, realise what their impact on the environment is and identify what changes they can make.

As for the event itself… it was tough, very tough! There were many times where I felt like ‘throwing the towel in’ but the support I had from the MAD team and the other participants was second to none. Never one to shy away from the challenge, I set off at a pace to aim to try and break the record and, after many ups and downs (pun intended), I eventually managed 48 climbs – way above what I had expected to do. There were many highlights: all the amazing the people I got to meet, the stunning views, the great support, the MASSIVE sense of achievement and the knowledge that you are doing something productive to help combat climate change.

Charlie Behan – MAD Mover Champion – 22 ascents in 12 hours

I’m relieved that I was asked to write this blog a month after the challenge as the passage of time does seem to somewhat blur the memory. Fading away are the memories of pain, damp, cold, fatigue and the power required to continue when I lost both toenails at the 10-hour mark; and in their place remain the sense of achievement that we all deserve to feel after taking part in such an event.

Leaving this behind, I would just like to congratulate the team behind this event. It ran (or walked) like clockwork and the cause for which it was run seemed to make the event more special than others I have done. The pledge idea, helping to introduce behavioural change rather than just raising money, actually made us feel like we were impacting real change on the world no matter how small each pledge and it is a format I would love to see replicated elsewhere.

I would totally recommend this to anyone thinking of really challenging themselves as 12 hours of physical activity is in itself barmy, whilst the company, support and encouragement of the events team made every ascent worthwhile.

Kirsty Fisher – MAD Starter Champion – 12 ascents in 6 hours

I first heard about MAD Challenges when Meredith and Dave introduced it at a 2050 Climate Group workshop in Glasgow. I’ve always loved hillwalking and being outdoors so MAD Challenges seemed like the perfect opportunity to challenge myself whilst raising awareness of something I feel passionate about.

The day was a joy to take part in: fantastic atmosphere, the camaraderie of the team and the interest of so many of the public made the day very special. I have never taken part in something like this before but knew I wanted to push myself so the 6 hour challenge was a good place to start. Perhaps hindsight mars the madness but I genuinely enjoyed every minute of it! After 2 ascents I thought 12 was a big ask but somehow kept going and in the case of the 12 and 24 hour challengers – they kept going and going!

MAD Challenges are a great opportunity to be involved in something positive and proactive, and to challenge and surprise yourself. I’d recommend getting involved to anyone as you get outside, meet new people and raise awareness of positive actions towards a shared cause.