Shropshire and Powys pair tackle the Doko challenge

Shropshire and Powys pair urge more women to join them, and tackle the legendary Doko Challenge?

Fitness enthusiast from Powys and Shropshire are urging more women to join them to take on a unique military-style ‘Doko’ Challenge and test their stamina against the ‘bravest of the brave’ – the Gurkhas.

Widely known as some of the most fearless and respected soldiers in the military, the Gurkhas have fought in the British Army for over 200 years. Their recruitment process remains one of the toughest in the world.

This year, 10,000* young Nepali men applied for a place as one of the ‘bravest of the brave’ – yet only 400 will be selected. At the heart of this gruelling exercise is the famous Doko race.

In partnership with the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistics Regiment, The Gurkha Welfare Trust is offering people the chance to put yourself in the boots of a Gurkha – and see if you have what it takes to complete the Gurkha Doko Challenge race.

Unlike the recruitment itself, the fundraising event is open to both men and woman. And a pair of fitness enthusiast from Shropshire and Powys are keen to prove they can hold their own against the men – and they are urging more women to join them.

In Nepal, the race is an uphill sprint in the Himalayan foothills while carrying a traditional Nepali Doko basket weighing 25kg on your back. Potential recruits are expected to complete the course in under 46 minutes. Failure to do so means the end of their Gurkha selection process.

"It is our identity as Gurkha. The paras have their test, we have ours. It’s special.”

Gurkha Captain (Ret'd) Ganesh Rai.

Now physical trainer Shannon Holroyd,23, who lives in Llanymynech and nanny Chloe Wilson, 28, who lives in Ellesmere have signed up to the event, which so far has attracted far less women than men and they are urging others to join them.

Shannon Holroyd explains: “When we heard about this unique fitness challenge and the opportunity to raise money for a great cause we jumped at the chance and the fact not many women have signed up to do it yet was an added incentive.

“As a personal trainer I know that women are just as capable as men so we have signed up to show what can be achieved and we would urge other women to sign up too and give the men a run for their money whilst supporting The Gurkha Welfare Trust.”

Georgia Oliver, Events and Challenges Officer at The Gurkha Welfare Trust, explains: “We can’t transport our fundraisers to Nepal for this challenge, but we have done our best to recreate it and that includes a course which is primarily uphill.

“It will be a unique experience for people who take part and the kind of experience they will talk about for years to come.”

The UK fundraising race takes place on the Long Valley Training Area military base in Aldershot on Saturday 22 June 2019. Participants will race for 5km and have three choices for their Doko basket weight – 5kg, 10kg or 15kg, all of which are provided.

The challenge is to finish within the 46 minutes that Gurkha recruits are required to.

Whether you beat the time or not, a delicious authentic Gurkha curry will be waiting for you at the finish line.

Registration costs £25 and there is a minimum fundraising target of £150.00 per person, which will go towards supporting The Gurkha Welfare Trust in helping to enable Gurkha veterans, their families and communities to live with dignity in Nepal.

Visit or phone 01722 323 955 to secure your place. Entrants must be over 18 and registration rates are reduced for groups of three or more.

To support Chloe or Shannon visit their pages on JustGiving.