Thu 30 Jul 2020 08:53

Traditionally each July, we begin to think about team preparations for the new season. However, with consideration to the current government restrictions, RFU guidelines and the uncertainty that fixtures will begin in September, the club is not yet rushing into intense pre-season training.  As soon as we have news on a safe return to rugby at Eccles, we’ll share it on our social media and website.

Whilst the club facilities remain closed, we encourage players, coaches and members to maintain their fitness off-site.  With this in mind, Eccles RFC has launched a summer challenge to bring us all together ‘virtually’ for an enjoyable, collective goal - getting fit and raising funds in support of the Salford Royal NHS Foundation.  The aim of the challenge is to run, cycle, swim over 10,000 km from Eccles, Lancashire to Eccles Peak, Utah, USA!

The journey from Gorton Street to the Rocky Mountains will be achieved, virtually, by individual distances tracked and recorded on the Strava App.  Over 8 weeks, team by team, every logged run will contribute to the collective club total.  As a break from solo excerise, there will be stage Bike Rides, Park Runs and Open Swimming events to participate in. Every section will be encouraged to meet its own targets and daily dog walks all count too! 

James Wright will be motivating the Mens section and Siobhan Mullen will be motivating the Ladies section. We need a volunteer to motivate the colts section and a volunteer to motivate the M&J section. Parents, coaches and non-player members can of course donate their activity to a nominated section. 

The Peak Challenge route is Eccles RFC-Southampton-New York-Pittsburg-Cleveland-Chicago-Denver-Salt Lake City-Eccles Peak. 

The Strava app will reord our distances and Challenge Hound will accumulate the activty and record our westbound journey. There will be regular social media updates over the summer showing progress to our target. If you’d like to check out our virtual destination, Eccles Peak is a mountain in the Wasatch Range, Utah with an elevation of 2,761 metres! It can be found northeast of Ogden, near to Powder Mountain and Snowbasin, where the 2002 Winter Olympics were held.

On your marks… 

The challenge starts on Monday 6th July and we aim to reach our Eccles Peak goal by Monday 31st August.

Get set…

To commemorate this challenge we will produce a limited edition ‘Eccles Peak Challenge’ training vest, which can be bought online (Adults £25, Child £20) with £5 going to our cause.  To order yours email club captain James Wright 

How to get started

  1. Download the Strava app to your device. 
  2. Search and join the Strava club “Eccles RFC challenge.” 
  3. Link your Strava account to the Challenge Hound tracker using this Challenge Hound LINK

How to support the challenge 

  1. Like/Share/ReTweet/Comment on Eccles RFC social media.
  2. Post pictures of your workouts (in your Peak Challenge vest) on your social media using the hashtag #EcclesPeakChallenge and tag Eccles RFC.
  3. Any donations you can raise from your efforts in aid of the NHS will be appreciated on this link Eccles Peak Challenge Virgin Money Giving LINK  
  4. Be as creative as you like with your activity. Every Kilometre counts. 


The challenge got off to a flyer with a trendous collective effort in its first week. 167 athletes signed up and a total of 3,860km was acheived in 7 days from 384 activities! This progress has put us halfway across the North Atlantic to America already! The U9s, U10s, U11s and U15s in particular made a big contribution to the Kilometre clock. Our average tally is 550km a day, with Day 3 being our best so far with 860km recorded in one day. Daily updates are issued on social media, with a shout out to the local rugby clubs as we pass through their territory on our virtual expedition. 

Although we are well ahead of our daily distance pace target we are lagging behind on our fund-raising target, with £365 raised so far. The first batch order of Eccles Peak Challenge vests made the biggest contribtuion to this figure. Lets hope our vest sales and fund-raising activity picks up in week 2.


The pace of the challenge did not falter and by Day 9 we were half way to our Utah destination. Day 12 had us just off the coast of Canada (5,853km) The U9s, U10s, U11s and U15s continued to make a big contribution to the goal. A Park Run in Worsley Woods (Lightoak Park) helped to boost the tally of our virtual expedition. By Day 14 progress of 6,424km completed our Atlantic crossing, landing in historic Coney Island at MCU park, the home of New York pro team Rugby United. 


After 14 days and 648 activities we've raised £520 and achieved 6,424km. We set out from Brooklyn, saluting the local US teams in each state and city as we headed west. Day 15 saw us pass through New York and New Jersey. Day 16 got us to Pittsburgh, Philladephia.  Day 17 7,563km progress takes us through Cleveland Ohio to Moose Rugby Grounds, Elkhart, Indiana. Day 18 8,158 kms, we toured the numeorus rugby clubs of the city of Chicago. DAY 19: We left Illinios and crossed the Mississippi to Davenport home to the Palmer College of Chiropractic established in 1897 (great year) and thier fine rugby team. We crossed Iowa to Lincoln Nebraska. DAY 20: 8,830 kilometers brings us to Glendale ‘RugbyTown USA’ Denver and Boulder, Colorado. DAY 21 9,238 kms We begin our climb into the Rocky Mountains National Park. 


DAY 22: 9,613 kms. We've make it to Dinosaur (yep thats a real place, just north of Bonanza) on the Utah state line. DAY 23 10,176 kms. We've made it to Salt Lake City, Utah. Our journey through the city visits the home of the pro team Utah Warriors, several college and community clubs and the Rice-Eccles Stadium ( home of the University of Utah college football team and the 2002 Winter Olympics) on route to Eccles Peak, north of the City. We reach the summit of Eccles PEak on Day 24. 10,236 kms achieved in 24 days! Almost 1,000 activities. 122 participants, adults, youths, kids. £555 raised for the NHS so far. 

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