History of the Mac4x4 Event
The "Mac 4x4" is a "challenge" for 4x4 enthusiasts. It aims at testing navigational, orienteering and observation skills, with on and off road sections - depending on conditions, and endurance by day and night. A "team" consists of two people and it is strongly recommended that both are competent, licensed and insured to drive the vehicle during the event. It is intended to be a testing long weekend of fun covering between 400 and 1000 miles with various "tests" en route.
You don't need a specialised vehicle to take part - any sensibly equipped 4x4 should be up to the event. Initially teams only know where they are starting from, the route being unfolded with the issue of road books as the event unfolds until the finish - usually in Cheshire. Night stops mean sleeping in the vehicle or a tent if carried. Teams are asked to commit to raising a minimum sponsorship of £600 for Macmillan Cancer Support. Competitors are responsible for their own fuel and sustenance en route. The costs of organising the event is borne by the entry fee which includes a 'suit or frock' Award Dinner and hotel accommodation, based on a twin room per team, on the final night.
The event has developed a contagious spirit and camaraderie and, although it is seriously competitive, the main aim is to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Since the first run in 2002 the average amount raised per team has been over £1,000 and the 2009 event has taken the total raised so far over £1/2 Million.
Background of the Mac4x4 Event
In May 2000 a group of enthusiasts saw a gap in the 4x4 calendar and decided to introduce an interesting 'Millennium Challenge' event for '4x4ers' over a weekend to support a worthy charity. The 'Mac4x4' had a difficult 'birth'. The weekend chosen coincided with a petrol blockade and the event was postponed for six months to March 2001 - it was then cancelled again, for a year, because of foot and mouth! Third time lucky and a loyal and steadfast group of eight teams took on the first 'Challenge'. They set the standard and raised £8,000 and the rest is history.
A hard core of supporters has developed which has taken the event on from strength to strength with a highly visited website, with a healthy active forum, marvellous support from clubs and magazine articles; helped by the participation of magazine staff and celebrity competitors such as Charlie Dimmock, Lynn Bowles and in 2009 Julia Bradbury and her sister Gina Fox - see the galleries. 2009 saw 62 teams cross the start line and, so far, £94,000 raised - that took the total comfortably over the £ half million mark.
The proceeds of all the fun - which depends on the sponsorship teams raise all go to Macmillan Cancer Support - The country's major charity devoted to the support, treatment and care of people living with cancer and their families. It provides much needed support for Macmillan's continuing efforts to provide better support services to everyone affected through the front line Macmillan nurses, doctors, buildings, patient grants and information services.