May 16th 2017

Reservists take on an endurance challenge

A number of reservists who took part in Trailwalker 2017.

From left to right are Trailwalker 2017 competitors Corporal Thornhill, Sapper Higgins, Warrant Officer Class Two Toms RE, Sapper Adshade and Lance Corporal Buckingham.

Two teams of four Nottingham-based reservists are set to take on an endurance challenge by taking part in Trailwalker 2017.

Each serving with the Army Reserve’s 350 Field Squadron (EOD), 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD), the group led by Warrant Officer Class Two Nathan Toms will be aiming to raise as much money as they can for both The Gurkhas Welfare Trust and Oxfam.

The event, that is taking place from 28 to 30 July, will see the team trek 100km across the South Downs in under 30 hours, putting both their minds and bodies to the test. Starting at Queen Elizabeth County Park the route will take the soldiers along the South Downs Way to the finish line at Brighton Racecourse, passing through rolling countryside, flint tracks, dry valleys and villages along the way.

Speaking about preparing for the challenge Nathan said: “Each of us understands that this is a huge challenge and something we need to be ready for both physically and mentally.

“Although each of us enjoys keeping fit, taking part in a 30 hour challenge is a tall order so we have been doing as much training as we possibly can around work and our other commitments.”

So far, the team have completed four group walks as well as training individually whenever possible.

Nathan continued: “The walks so far have consisted of progression walks which have ranged between eight and 30 miles covering distances over the Peak District. The peaks are ideal for our training, as apart from the odd boulder here and there, the heights and the tracks are pretty much similar to the downs.

“Both teams, as part of Trailwalker training, will have to conduct a 27 mile long night navigation phase that will be timed, so the teams will have to have their wits about them navigating in the dark! The teams will also be taking part in adventure training activities during the day, so this should ideally replicate the fatigue and sleep deprivation that they will encounter on Trailwalker.”

Each team taking part in the event pledges to raise £1,400 for Oxfam and The Gurkha Welfare Trust as part of the contest, so the group want to do as much as they possibly can in advance of the event to raise as much cash as they can.

One of the reservists fundraising ideas was to organise a static bike ride at Tesco in Long Eaton.

Nathan, who in his civilian life works as an Openreach Fibre Engineer, continued: “We want to demonstrate to the public how we work as a team to reach our goals. Taking part in the static bike ride shows that we are committed to raising as much funding as we can to help make a difference to the lives of families around the world.

“As soldiers we are used to pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones, so it’s great for us to commit to challenging ourselves to raise money for such a good cause.”

If you would like to sponsor the team visit

350 Field Squadron are recruiting in your area now, no previous experience is required.  Contact or call 01159 464909 Ext 5217 for further details.


“Each of us understands that this is a huge challenge and something we need to be ready for both physically and mentally."