Many say the mountain phase is the toughest and most vital section of the Quad. Whether you run or walk, it will be both a mental and physical challenge.
Imagine having to climb up mountain terrain everyday just to go to work.
This is the life of Carlos Vicente – a snow pea farmer in Guatemala. Carlos’ fields perch precariously on the side of a steep hill, an hour’s hike up a dusty trail.
About 80 percent of the snow peas consumed in the United States are grown in Guatemala. Small farmers like Carlos tend to grow maize and beans to feed their families for part of the year, and then plant a crop like snow peas to sell for extra income.
But new regulations going into effect soon could keep Carlos and other small farmers out of the valuable US market. When the new rules take effect, any produce imported to the US, including Carlos’ snow peas, must be traceable back to the field where it was grown – regardless of whether it is on the side of a mountain.
Farmers like Carlos are often poor, and many can’t read – because of these challenges, it would be nearly impossible for them to comply with the new regulations on their own. To be shut out of selling their peas in the US would be disastrous for these families.
In order to help these farming communities thrive, Mercy Corps has partnered with an exporter to introduce new tracking software, called Farmforce, to the growers. After farming the peas, a guide from Carlos’ farming cooperative group arrives and puts all the information about the work he’s just done into Carlos’ Farmforce profile on a smartphone. He records what was planted and marks the GPS coordinates. As the peas grow, the software also tracks information about fertilizers and pesticides used.
Farmers then deliver their crop to be weighed and inspected closely to make sure it meets the exporter’s quality requirements. Each harvest is entered into the Farmforce software, and then each farmer’s snow peas are sent to the exporter to be shipped to the US.
Because of the Farmforce software, Carlos knows that he can keep growing snow peas, earning enough income to give his family a better future.
He’s proud of the way his community and the farming cooperative have risen to the challenge of new technology. “As an organisation, we’re doing things together. Whenever we do these things together, we succeed.”
As you take on the Munros of the Quad, know your fundraising is helping Mercy Corps partner with local communities to implement innovative projects that support people like Carlos.
15 miles, easy you might think, just a little more than half marathon? Throw in 7 Munro summits with a total of 7500 feet of ascent and it makes things a little more challenging! This makes it the toughest and longest section of the Quadrathlon. We have put together a few tips to assist your comfort and fitness on the hills:
We all remember the inspirational Yusra Mardini: the 18-year-old Syrian refugee who competed in the 2016 Olympic Games. Despite adangerous journey from Syria to Germany, where she swam for her life in Greek
coastal waters, Yusra continued her passion for swimming and became a member of the Refugee Olympic Athletes Team.
It is girls like Yusra that Mercy Corps aims to support. Mercy Corps is a leading global organisation, working in over 40 countries, powered by the belief that a better world is possible. Our team has mounted one of the largest responses to the crisis in Syria, impacting the lives of more than 7.4 million people since 2012.
With your fundraising from the Quad, we can continue our work to help people across the world to reach their full potential. We hope that Yusra’s story will inspire you not only to fundraise, but to train hard for your Quad swim. Mercy Corps looks forward to seeing you in the waters of Loch Tay in July 2017!
Introducing this year’s Mary’s Meals Quad team, Quadrophenia!
After volunteering at the Quad last year, Joe and I decided to sign up for the 2017 event. After all, how hard can it be?
Now the excitement has finally settled in, the size of the challenge has started to hit home. “Athletic” isn’t the word I would use to describe our team, so many hours of training will be required for to get us into ship shape!
We decided to have a look over the challenging Quad route and hit a stumbling block at thevery first hurdle, Joe can’t swim! Thankfully, at the time of writing and after lots of training, Joe can now swim 20 lengths and has a new found love for the water! Hopefully this means we will be able to make our journey across Loch Tay in July.
However, it is important to remember that this small challenge pales in comparison to the daily challenges faced by children in in the world’s poorest communities, where hunger and poverty prevent children from gaining an education.
By taking part in the UK’s toughest outdoor sporting event we are giving hope to children throughout the world by providing one daily meal in a place of education. I promise that the pain and struggle of being a Quadrathlete is definitely worth it!
It is thanks to your fundraising, that we are able to feed 880,383 children in Malawi. Mary’s Meals is now reaching 1,187,104 children globally. On behalf of all the children receiving Mary’s Meals, thank you.
It would be great to hear on the Quad Facebook page any challenges you’ve come against and how you managed to overcome them.
I look forward to updating you on our progress next month.
Lucy, Mary’s Meals Fundraising Support Officer and one half of Team Quadrophenia
It goes without saying that swimming in a pool is very different to open water swimming. To begin with the open water is colder, darker and you don’t have nice blue lines to follow! Here are a few key swim skills from a past participant and experienced Triathlete on how to make the swim a little less daunting!
When swimming in open water races you need to make sure you are swimming in a straight line, the shortest route. To ensure this you need to practice sighting. Sight an immovable object on the skyline e.g. a building, tree or landmark, not a moving object like a boat! If water conditions are calm and you can sight the changing tent from distance then even better! Every 8 to 10 arm pulls glance quickly up as you breathe, sight your object then carry on.
This is breathing on both sides as opposed to just one – unilateral. This is important so you can see what is going on all around you. The swim is a straight line course with no buoys to go around but its essential to know where your fellow swimmers are to avoid clashing arms and feet. Practice this in training by breathing every 3 or 5 arm pulls.
To do this you swim right behind a swimmer and use their speed to carry you along, it takes practice though. You will conserve energy (as you do on a bike) because the swimmer in front is breaking the water in front of them and you move through water that is already moving, which is easier.
Front crawl is the most efficient stroke. If swimming is not your strength and you would rather do breaststroke, don’t panic, you will not be alone! There’s no shame in being able to keep your eyes on the target and compare notes with your teammate. Remember you have 60 minutes to complete the 0.8 mile swim.
Try Open Water:
The more time you can spend swimming in open water in your wetsuit the better. It also helps get used to the temperature difference between a pool and a loch! There are opportunities to swim in open water across the country so no matter where you live, contact your nearest lido, triathlon club, swimming pool or have a look online! If you would like to practise in Loch Tay, from Kindrochit, give us a call or send an email. We don’t offer swim training but accommodation is available (depending on availability) in the Kindrochit Garden Flat
Registration for the 2017 Event is now open.
The Difference Mercy Corps and Mary’s Meals are Making
On behalf of the thousands of vulnerable people you are helping the across the world, we would like to thank you. Your fundraising means that Mercy Corps and Mary’s Meals are able to reach out to those suffering both hardship and disaster, giving the resource necessary so they may work their way out of poverty and into hope.For more than 30 years, Mercy Corps has believed in the power of people to transform their own lives. We work in more than 40 countries and know that unlocking opportunity for people in crisis is the most effective way to build up communities and permanent paths out of poverty.Your fundraising will change lives. Thank you for taking one small step (or thousands of steps on the Quad!) to help people step up out of crisis.
Inside Syria, Mercy Corps is reaching around 570,000 people every month with critical support like food, water and hygiene supplies. Despite the ongoing conflict, our teams continue to help people cope amidst war. Here and in the neighbouring countries of Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon, Mercy Corps is reaching over 4 million people – including the communities struggling to host them – with long term support such as education, psychosocial support and employment support.
In Europe, in Greece and across the mainland transit routes, we are able to help people on the move, desperately seeking safety by helping them access the information they need to make decisions about what steps to make next and what services are available to help them.
Because of you – no matter what or where the crisis may be– Mercy Corps is able to help families be independent and not dependant. Dignity. Choice. Autonomy. Your fundraising helps us give these vital things back to those in crisis.
Mary’s Meals works with communities in some of the world’s most impoverished areas to set upand deliver school feeding programmes that provide one nutritious daily meal in a place of education for hungry children where children so often miss school because of hunger and poverty. 1,101,206 children receive Mary’s Meals around the world, as well as their teachers,families, and wider communities. Thanks to the commitment and fundraising efforts of Quad competitors Mary’s Meals is able to provide vital support to over 7,600 chronically hungry children in Malawi. It costs just £12.20 to feed a child with Mary’s Meals for a whole school year and we are committed to spending at least 93p of every £1 donated directly on our charitable activities.
Ben is ten years old and from Malawi. When his father died, his mother struggled to find food for the family, he recalls often going to bed hungry and never having breakfast. However, since he started receiving Mary’s Meals, his studies have improved and he has more energy. Ben says, “Since Mary’s Meals, I no longer concentrate on my problems as I am able to enjoy my studies in class. My vision is to build a better house for my family and look after my mother.”
You are giving a gift of hope to Ben and children just like him.
We have some handy hints and tips that can help you with your fundraising, please click here to find out how to Fundraise in a Day!
Thank you so much for all the effort you have put into participating in the Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon and for supporting Mercy Corps and Mary’s Meals. Together, we are making a difference.
Best of luck.
How many steps will you take on the Quad itself? Millions it might feel like! At Mercy Corps our belief in empowering people to take their own steps towards a brighter future underpins all of our work worldwide. In particular, we see youth as key change-makers in their lives and the lives of those around them – especially in times of crisis. Rather than viewing youth as troublemakers or as a demographic challenge, we believe in the positive power of youth – in their ability to enable their countries to stride forward, socially, politically and economically. Watch this video to inspire you to make some great strides yourself!