Imagine being stranded in a town you’re not familiar with. Now imagine you’ve got no money, not even a mobile phone and you have to get home. What would you do? You’d probably find it quite stressful. Now imagine that 200 people are actually doing this for fun.
Throughout the 1990’s Hereford was home to ‘Jailbreak’. A hugely successful charity that, in 10 years, raised over a million pounds for smaller charities. The concept was simple. Teams of four were given around six months to raise £400 – if they did this they were eligible for the Jailbreak race. On the first Sunday of every July the teams were bussed from Hereford Racecourse to a mystery location in the UK and then had to race back to Hereford with nothing but luck at their disposal.
It was a huge success and an annual event the whole city looked forward to. I took part in three. Blackpool in 1998, Manchester in 1999 and London in 2000. By this time it has go so popular around 150 teams were taking part. It was too successful and too big to organise thus, Ron & Gren – the creators/organisers of the idea – announced that 2000 was to be the last ever event.
And what an even it was, scrambling to return from Centre point in London to Hereford as fast as you can with no money & no phones. I’m immensely proud to say my team came 5th that year. So I was gutted that it was never to be again.
Until now…. today is the Return of Jailbreak. We’ve spent the last six months raising a fantastic £707 and, in an hour or so I will join the other 50 teams ready to relaunch this phenomenon. Am I mad? Wish me luck…