DURRELL CHALLENGE 2018 – THE EXPERIENCE

[LEIA ESSE POST EM PORTUGUÊS]

May 13th was a special Sunday for our beloved Jersey. While, in some places around the world, people celebrated Mother’s Day, in Henry Cavill’s homeland, people joined the famous son of the island, to raise funds that contribute to the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, in the maintenance of their work in conservation, research, education and preservation movement helping many species from extinction.

If you’re following our work here at Portal, you already know everything about Durrell, if you doesn’t (what are you waiting for?), visit our special page to find out everything about it.

Henry Cavill, who grew up in Jersey, grew up visiting the Durrell and loving the animal kingdom. In 2014 he took advantage of the visibility of his work and became the Ambassador of this great cause. He will explain to you better about his role in the institution and the importance of it in his life in the video below:

Since 2016, Durrell has booked one Sunday a year to challenge people to run for Durrell, calling it the Durrell Challenge. The challenge was created to help the institution to raise funds to maintain its internationally wildlife conservation work. Even though it’s a charity event, the challenge isn’t easy. 13k of hills to the Jersey Zoo, but to make up for it, with a breathtaking view.

However, in addition to, Durrell offers a day for the whole family at the zoo, the Really Wild Day, with music, food, entertainment and with activities to help children engage with nature. Speaking of the little ones, besides the Really Wild Day, Durrell created the Superhero Safari (supported by Appleby) which is a competition for children 10 and under, where they had a special mission, search for the superhero animals and discover their Superpowers! The heroes who managed to complete the task correctly had their names entered into a prize draw for the chance to meet Superman in person (aka Henry Cavill), take a photo and have an autographed T-shirt.

Henry Cavill, not only participated in the road race, but enjoyed the whole festival with his family and some friends.

But at the end of the day, everything is for a good cause and everyone who signed up to this adventure got medals and were able to see the British Superman.

Besides the Road race, people were able to contribute by buying tickets (the participants could get in for free), for the Really Wild Day and Superhero Safari or by raising at least 1000 pounds for Durrell, they would be allowed VIP entry, and also having the opportunity to meet Henry Cavill and take a picture.

And there’s more! The Durrell a raffle, (only £10 per ticket) gave away a couple of tickets to the Mission: Impossible – Fallout premiere as the main prize. Read more about it HERE.

It was the same raffle that gave a couple of tickets to the Justice League premiere last year and Henry Cavill’s first car for the 2016 winner. Yes, What a raffle, everyone!

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It was the third edition of Durrell Challenge and, as always, it was a huge success. They have almost reached the goal of £60.000. You can still make a donation through Just Giving website.

Once again the Durrell Challenge was not just a full day to exercise, compete and be close to the former owner of the most majestic mustache (R.I.P) of recent times. It was a day to celebrate family, friendship and life. Everyone from staff to visitors realized the good energy of the event and the excitement of the ambassador. Durrell staff member Leila Amy told us “Although Henry did not win the challenge he seemed to take his time and enjoy the run with family and friends. He even had time to update his fans throughout on Instagram! The whole day was a great success and we are very grateful to Henry for giving up time in his busy schedule for the animals that need it the most. He was as friendly as ever and put a smile on so many adoring fans faces.

O Portal conseguiu o depoimento de alguns desses sortudos, que contaram um pouco dessa experiência única.

The day was unforgettable for many, from those who stood out in the race as Dan Romeril, Tom Perchard, and James Faudemer (see the full list here), even for many fans of Henry Cavill. Some people who attended the event kindly shared their experiences with us. Read below:

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Terrene A. Davenport

Jersey is a beautiful but small island. The roads are tiny and most people drive manual so if you go visit, be mentally prepared for that. The food is amazing and everyone on the island is very active. Most of the people we encountered were pretty nice!

The race was tough because a majority of it was uphill. These were NOT small hills. 13km equals 8.3miles for anyone who may consider it in the future. It’s a great challenge that anyone would be thrilled to complete! My husband was the 1st American to cross the finish line, beating the handsome Superman by 20 minutes. 😊😄

The weather was mild which made it perfect running weather, sunny but only about 60 degrees. Absolutely perfect outdoor activity weather!

My moment with Mr. Cavill was a surprising one because it took forever for us to get to the VIP spaces. Once we did, he was already gone. Thankfully though, he happily agreed to come out to meet me after he got ready for his press conference. Both he and his manager were more than accommodating. I got to hang out and chat with him for a few minutes. He’s incredibly easy to talk to and very easy on the eyes.

During our interaction he personalized an autographed book from a previous event, even remembered me from that event, and graciously accepted a book that I had written to POSSIBLY read IF he has time; which I understand. I told him the main character was modeled after him and he said he was interested so whatever happens, happens.

I hope he gets a chance to read it because I know he would love the character that I created of him and I think if given the opportunity both him and the fans would love to see him in another movie where he was supernatural (like a God/Angel) and helping to save the world with a strong female lead by his side. Secondly, I hope he continues doing these small events because we get to see a different side of him!

💋Terrene”

Elizabeth Laby

I’ve been going to the Durrell Challenge for 3 years now and it is always a great pleasure to come to Jersey. I’m à volunteer for the run as a run Marshall. Until i can keep up the 13k this is my way to participate to this great cause of saving species. When i came for the 1st year and I learned that Henry Cavill would be the ambassade, i thought that we would see him at the end of the day but no more. What a surprise to discovered that we could take à picture with him!!!

And when it was my rien, i was si shaking. He is so impressive ! I came and Say “Bonjour, comment ça va?” (Hi, how are you ?) And he answered me in French! I was also able to talk to him. And he is such a nice guy. And very patient. He had à word for each fan who was there. A very kind human being, smart and funny (with the raffle tickets…)

For the second year, even if he was less available, the photo sessions were as last year amazing. We all did appreciate the fact that, even with his vert busy schedule filming MI:6, he did come and took time with the VIP runners ans fundraisers. And if course with all the fans who came. More than last year but less that next year…

This year was great as always. We were scared with the weather for the run but it well okay. Just like last year we went to the start of the run and we saw Henry arriving bybwalking

By walking with his brothers and aunt. No Bodyguard ‘cause he’s Home! And what is great is that people respected his privacy. I also had thé opportunity to see the start of the run before heading to the zoo. During the day, after we’ve took the tickets for the picture, we enjoyed the park and animals. And near the Bats area we saw him with his mum and aunt. They went to see the lemur. We passed them, just saying hi and kept walking. As said earlier, he’s home. And then it was time for the picture.

And because of the weather being so changing that day, they plates caution and organized it indoor instead. And they did great. Even if the picture did not last as long as last years, we still could have talked to him. I came to meet him. We shook hands and then decided to try a hug. And what a hug it was!! Not a shy one but a very warm and suite long one. Damm!!! Si handsome and sweet. At the end of the picture, i wished him à l’atelier happy birthday. He thanked me, we shook hands again!

Another great memory! We were all quite nervous during the day ‘cause

There was this rumor that it would be his last year as Durrell Ambassador. But at the end of the raffle, he surprised us all saying : “see you next year!!!!” Yes!!! So i’ll be returning next year, hoping to be able to run this time! For conclusion, Henry is vert sweet and kind.he’s really caring about his fans. With him, even if you realize that he is Henry Cavill Aka Superman (Or Solo-my favorite) this feeling disappears as soon as he looks at you. He’s very humble. A very nice person.

ANNA

“Hello, My name is Anna, I live and work in Jersey, Channel Islands as a data analyst in a small technology company. In my spare time, I help at the different charities around the island, including Durrell Zoo. I helped them before with some events, including charity fashion show, private parties and etc. But It was my first time helping at the Durrell Dash, I heard a lot about this event, but I have never had a chance to attend it due some various reasons, including work travelling & others

I should say that I have never saw anything like this before! The atmosphere was electric and the people who came to run and to watch were buzzing up to the very end! I really didn’t want this day to finish!

Some fans might be upset with me, but I have to confess, that I had a hidden reason to be there… I was ‘’on a mission’’, which I should say, I partly failed..,. but I had a chance to meet face to face with a dream of the millions people, and even take an autograph and a picture with him! Henry Cavil… this name means a lot..

As I mentioned before I help at quite a few charities, at one of them, where I help with teaching children coding, we do some tech related projects. Right now, we are trying to launch our own Nano-satellite and we run a Kickstarter campain to raise money for their dream to become a reality, we had brainstorm ideas and children asked me to try and find a support from our own super man, because only Super Man can fly very close to the stars, where the satellite is going to be!

But sadly, I didn’t have a chance to talk to him about our project, but as a positive outcome, I took my first ever celebrity autograph and I had an amazing experience of meeting this great SUPER Man, who finds a spare time to help saving animals and help local charities, I think it’s amazing what he does and I would recommend anyone, who wants to meet him in the real life, to apply to this program and run a marathon or become a volunteer at the Durrell zoo.

My personal message to Super Man: ‘Thank you for being a Super Man in the real life, saving lives of animals and helping others. You are an example for many to follow!’ Anna”

Gemma Dee

“The event in jersey was brilliant the turn out was incredible and the weather made it even better. It was great to see so many people at the warm up that I led, I hope lots of people took away some running specific warm up drills from it. The course was a tough one, that’s why they call it the ‘challenge’, which makes it even more fitting that Superman takes part in it. The hills are pretty steep and for every down hill on this course the hills aren’t steady they are really steep.

I was delighted to come in First Lady and even more delighted when I was then told this meant that I had VIP access to meet Henry Cavill. Jersey born it was a delight to meet him, I just wish I had more time to give him so running tips 🤣 His support and commitment to Durrell and Jersey is truly commendable and I look forward to next years event!

Juan Sanchez

“When I arrived in Yersey I received a warm wellcome ; its people are extremely friendly and helped me a great deal to find my way around. The islands charm makes it a wonderful place to visit-highly recomended as the event, I volunterred in the race , Everything was well organized and I found communication to be flawless. I got to meet Henry Cavill and had several pictures and videos taken wich I am most happy to share with you. I meet all other volunteers and the atmosphere was awesome.

Well Henry is amazing guy he es very friendly I saw him my tatto of him the I hat….one of the video is about my tattoo as well and I toll him the is a lovely actor and the best Superman forever”

To see Juan’s video click here.

@the_rufus_2015

“My mum has been a huge Henry Cavill fan for many years. My dad brought Mum to Jersey many times over the years and she has supported the Durrell challenge and met Henry in 2016 and 2017.

Sadly Mum passed away unexpectedly in November last year and in honour of her memory me, my sister and dad decided to visit jersey and take on the challenge in memory of Mum. We managed to raid almost £1000 and had a wonderful and emotional day.

Henry was amazing and I will admit that I used to tease Mum for being such a big fan, but I guess I can see why now. He was genuinely sad when we told him of mums passing and I didn’t expect a hug or to be able to literally cry on his shoulder, but he was wonderful. My dad also met Henry after standing in the sidelines in previous years.

Heartbreakingly, we returned from jersey last Tuesday and my dad also died the next day. The above photo with Henry is one of our last. He was only 59 😢

We are all heartbroken, but are so glad that we had that last trip to jersey together and got to tell Henry about Mum. It’s a memory we will cherish sh forever ❤️

The challenge was tough. But I hope to get fitter and return next year. For Mum and dad x”

Thank you so much to everyone who shared their stories with us. And we’re sending thoughts and prayers to @the_rufus_2015 during this difficult time.

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And it’s not over, Durrell has a special thanks to everyone who was part of the challenge and an invitation to everyone who wants to join them next year:

“We had a fantastic turnout for The Durrell Challenge 2018 and we are delighted to have raised nearly £60,000. We are so grateful for our ambassador, Henry Cavill, who once again returned to Jersey to take part in the 13k road race. We are also grateful to all the runners that took part, especially those who raised over £1,000 to support our work saving species from extinction! After the race at the Really Wild Day, which was designed to connect people to nature, it was great to see so many young people enjoying the zoo and learning about all of our animals. Rewilding people is a key part of our new strategy and it is brilliant to have Henry Cavill on board. If you’re yet to take part in The Durrell Challenge or are interested in running the 13k race again, watch this space for next year and follow us on social media @DurrellWildlife, @durrell_jerseyzoo and #DoItForDurrell. If you’d like to help us reach our £60,000 target, you can still donate at:
https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/dwct/doitfordurrell Thank you!

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All the reports serve to inspire us to follow our dreams. After all, that’s what all members of this story represent. Being the fans who could realize the dream of seeing their idol. Being each member of the Durrell who works hard and, yes, dreams, to continue helping and saving more and more species; Being Gerald Durrell, the founder of the institution, who dreamed of a better planet alongside his wife Lee, or even Henry Cavill who dreamed of his career and now does something greater with his visibility. And of course, why not, to us from Portal and of course, you, our dear reader.

What’s your dream? After reading this story, one of them should be going to a Durrell Challenge and having that experience. If even a potentially rainy day has opened up to provide a magical day to all those people in Jersey, anything is possible!

Until then, you can make your donation, adopt some animal (just like Henry) and of course get ready and start training, because next year there’s more to come!

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And we have an extra surprise for you! A photo gallery with new photos (by By The Studio M) from the Challenge. Check it out below:

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Meanwhile, your Portal Henry Cavill is still here, keeping you informed of all the updates of this noble cause in our weekly “Henry Cavill Charity Updates, on our social media and, of course, in our special articles here on the site.

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Credits / Special thanks: The Studio M; Durrell; Henry’s Ice Cream Pizza; Juan Sanchez; Terrene A. Davenport; Elizabeth Laby; @the_rufus_2015; Gemma Dee; @anutakuku; Tiffany Lang; Leila Amy; Henry Cavill’s instagram; Durrell website; Durrell Challenge website;

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