Intrepid trio set for Mongol challenge

FILLED with a sense of adventure and no little trepidation, three fearless fundraisers are taking on the charity road-trip of a lifetime.

Colin Adwent

FILLED with a sense of adventure and no little trepidation, three fearless fundraisers are taking on the charity road-trip of a lifetime.

Catherine Calver, of Ipswich, and her two friends Catherine Arrenberg and Charlotte Scawen, both of London, are set to compete in the Mongol Rally over at least 8,000 miles.

The trio will be one of only a handful of female teams to set out from Goodwood, Sussex, on July 18 for the month-long journey to Ulaan Baatar in Mongolia.

The women - who are aiming to raise at least �3,000 for Mercy Corps - are putting all their faith in the reliability of a Skoda Felicia Classic that they bought specifically for the trip.

They claim their main qualification for the rally is their fairly extensive experience of travelling.

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Between the three of them they have backpacked and worked on six of seven continents, leaving only Antarctica to go.

However, they know their journey criss-crossing in the region of 21 borders over all types of terrain and temperatures is likely to test them to the full.

Miss Calver, 31, said: “We'll be involved in a great adventure and raise money for a really good cause at the same time.

“In preparation we have been doing a car maintenance course. We have bought a Skoda which we will drive there and auction off for charity.

“We hope we can fit all the kit in the car.

“We are just concerned as even though we have a map for Mongolia, apparently those roads don't really exist so we are going to have to rely on a compass and co-ordinates.

“We are all really excited, but we have still got a bit to do. We haven't got a roof rack for the car yet.”

The team are very appreciative for the help and support they have received from local businesses, particularly Gammers of Stowmarket, Cattermoles, Marine and Auto Electrics, and Stowmarket Tyres and Exhausts.

Are you taking part in a challenge for charity? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail

The rally goes a third of the way around the earth, from Europe to Mongolia via many obscure countries, in a car that has an engine of no bigger than one litre.

Starting from England, Spain and Italy, the rally finishes in the Mongolian capital Ulaan Baatar in around four weeks.

Teams cover between about 8,000 and 10,000 miles depending on the route they choose.

In a normal year just over half the teams make the finish line.

Mercy Corps is an international humanitarian and development charity which aims to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.

In Mongolia, life can be extremely tough for rural nomadic people. Mercy Corps supports rural communities and herding families through a range of projects that help them live an independent and sustainable life.