Meet the dedicated team behind the Challenge
Sue Oxley and Ali Ogden, the owners of Newtonmore Hostel, took over as coordinators of the Challenge in 2014, replacing John Manning, who organised the event for three years.
Sue is a 16-time Challenger who completed her first crossing in 1982 and holds the record for the longest time taken to achieve 10 crossings! Ali completed her first Challenge in 2000 and her 11th crossing in 2019. Both are keen walkers and backpackers, who have completed solo walks from Land’s End to John o’ Groats (a youthful Ali in 1990 and a less youthful Sue in 2010).
Sue and Ali first met on the 2004 Challenge and have walked together on several Challenges since then. After hatching a fledgling plan to open their own B&B while completing their 2009 crossing, they eventually bought Newtonmore Hostel together, along with their husbands, in 2012. Sue and Ali believe they are the first people to have met on the Challenge and subsequently gone into business together.
As Coordinators, Sue and Ali are your first point of contact for anything Challenge-related, assisted by our team of expert route-vetters and by Roger Smith, who retired as Coordinator in 2011 but remains very much part of the family.