Because life is too short not to try, Richard Harpham decided one day that it was time to make things change and start fighting for the causes he has always believed in. Early retired from the corporate world, he co-founded the Big 5 Kayak Challenge few years ago to pursue his dreams of kayaking across oceans and helping people who aren’t as lucky as we are, supporting charities such as the Muscular Help Foundation or the Marine Conservation Society.
Investing his whole life, time and soul to this amazing project, Richard is determined to make a difference in people’s minds showing them how they can contribute to help others and make the world a better place. Because if you don’t push your own limits, you will never know what is waiting for you, it’s time to start taking action and get involved in the causes that matter to you. Read more about this sport junkie and dream fighter…
For those who haven’t heard of it, what is the Big 5 Kayak Challenge all about?
The Big 5 kayak challenge 2009 was about a personal challenge and some adventure with 5 challenging sea kayak expeditions including Round the Isle of Wight, The length of the Thames, Crossing the English Channel and Lands End to the Isle of Wight. The final expedition was 1000 miles from Vancouver to Alaska. More than anything it was a personal journey for each of us and doing something that we loved doing. We were also keen to ensure that we supported some good causes whilst we were having fun on expedition. Our causes have included the Muscular Help Foundation, The River Access Campaign and the Marine Conservation Society.
The Big 5 Kayak Challenge 2010 was about setting our sights a little bigger. We aimed to raise more awareness for our causes and in particular promoted the work of the Marine Conservation Society on TV and in the media. We have begun to also start monitoring the pollution and plastic that we find on the remote beaches during our expeditions. The Big 5 kayak challenge 2010 has involved kayaking around Malta and Gozo, canoeing 700 miles of the Yukon River, Crossing the Pentland Firth and paddling around the Orkney Isles(unsupported), Scotland to Ireland (unsupported) and London to Marrakech by kayak and cycle. The team have now completed over 4,600 miles of human power during the 10 expeditions in 2 years. Of course that doesn’t seem enough so the plans are growing again for next year.
How did this whole adventure start?
I had started an online sports community with over 5,000 bits of content in our online community from adventurers and Olympians aiming to inspire others. After 5 years of hard work we needed more funds to keep going and grow. Sadly the bank withdrew a loan and we went bust. I decided that it was my time to do some bigger adventures myself. I didn’t want to just write about others challenging themselves. The Big 5 kayak challenge was born overnight and literally 5 weeks later we found ourselves in Prijon sea kayaks kayaking around the Isle of Wight.