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The Challenge Begins

(Clacton, U.K./Tyres & Accessories) Today marks the beginning of the gruelling eight-day 2006 Fulda Challenge.

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For the U.K. team, Kate Balchin (from Bagshot in Surrey) and Martin Yardley (from Portsmouth), this means battling the elements in an extreme sports competition in Canada’s Yukon Territory.

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The female Metropolitan Police Officer and the Royal Marine PTI travelled to Canada last Friday to begin preparations for the event. They will compete against nine other countries – including Germany, Belgium, Austria and Canada – to win two Klondike gold nuggets and the title of 2006 Fulda Challenge champions. The punishing schedule allows no break for the team as they compete in a wide range of sporting events in temperatures as low as -50ºC.

Today’s challenges are a demanding half-marathon, followed by a downhill-kayak. A popular event at the 2005 Fulda Challenge, the downhill-kayak will see the contestants steering a canoe down a snow-covered mountain.

Kate, 25, has been looking forward to the kayak since she was chosen for the team. “I have seen the photos of the 2005 challenge and the kayaking looks amazing!” she said before departure the Yukon. “I am really excited about the prospect of this exciting event and I will throw myself into it with 100% enthusiasm.”

“The team has a really tough task ahead, but I am incredibly confident in their ability,” says Fulda’s Brand Support Manager Nicole Howitt. “Kate and Martin form one of the strongest teams we have ever had. They are very balanced and one’s weakness is the other’s strength, so I really believe that they can win this – go team U.K.!”

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