IR Crumball Rally 2016 – The Finishing Line

TL;DR: They made it there! We weren’t sure if they’d made it back…

C’est fini, as they say in France – the starting country for Crumball Rally’s epic three-day event ‘Mission Impossible’. It turns out, this became ‘Mission Impossible’ for our team of Intelligent Retail staff who undertook this gruelling personal challenge. We knew they’d do it!

A huge well done to Mark H, Mark S, Laura and Ben for completing such a challenge! Not all entrants to the rally were lucky enough to make it to the finishing line this year, and it was even touch and go for many who did, with multiple breakdowns along the way. The humble Seat Ibiza kept its nerve for the duration and sure the team had their ups and downs, but that was mainly accounted for by The Alps.

The starting line – After catching their ferry from Dover and travelling down through northern France the team arrived safely in Reims. On arrival they were greeted by large crowds and huge applause, although unfortunately this turned out not to be for them; it just so happened that France were playing the Euro 2016 semi-final at the time…

reims-collage

Some photos taken by the team in Reims, France.

Day 1 – In Reims the team met up with other rally-goers and sized up the competition, as well as the impressive efforts everybody had gone to in creating a theme for their cars! From Reims the rally started with great enthusiasm and everybody set off for Chur, Switzerland, which was about 400 miles away. The first day was long but the team made great headway on the motorways and soaked in the impressive scenery that the region has to offer.

The team arrived safely with other rally-goers in Chur, Switzerland.

The team arrived safely with other rally-goers in Chur, Switzerland.

Day 2 – Day two saw the team make their way to Fussen in Germany, via Italy and the famous Stelvio Pass. This was to be the day of reckoning for Mark H’s last minute brake-overhaul (they worked!). If the team thought the scenery on day one was impressive then they could think again; making their way through the heart of Switzerland, via Italy and up the Stelvio Pass proved to be something else entirely. This striking beauty was only slightly tainted by the nerve-wracking heights, steep gradients and cosy tunnels that Les Alpes has to offer!

The incredible Stelvio Pass. You can see why brakes are essential.

The incredible Stelvio Pass. You can see why brakes are essential.

Day 3 – Day three saw the team push east and conquer the final stretch of the rally. With an early start the team headed from Fussen, made their way across Germany and on into the Czech Republic to their final destination, Prague. This leg of the journey was long and thankfully without any major upsets, although it was very warm! (…and we thought they were living it up with air-con?).

After crossing the finishing line in Prague the team met up with other teams from Crumball Rally to quench their thirst. There was story swapping, prize giving and a chance for a moment of personal reflection on just how far everybody had come and what was achieved. With ‘Mission Impossible’ now over you would be excused for thinking “Where next?” – well it’s back to reality, and they have to hope that their banger will make it back across Europe and home, where we were expecting them 30 minutes ago…

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