Air Engineering Officer takes on gruelling Jurassic Coast 100km ultra challenge

Storyline: NavyFit

Commander Polly Hatchard (47) will walk 100km along the Jurassic coast from the morning until long after night fall raising funds for the Rainbow Trust Children’s charity on Sat 18 May.

Polly is the Head of Air Engineering at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton with over 25 years of Royal Naval service. Polly will start the trek at Corfe Castle before finishing in the vibrant town of Bridport covering over 2,300m in elevation along the grueling coastline.   


Polly’s goal is to raise £1000 for the Rainbow Trust Children’s charity. This amazing charity supports families who have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness.  Providing help in a time of great need when life will probably never be the same again.  


After putting her life on a happy pause to single handily raise her two children and pursue her Royal Naval career, it was time to take on this challenge and raise funds for a worthwhile charity. Polly said, ‘I have my health, my children and a career I love. I have so much more than some other people, and so I want to give something to help others less fortunate.’

The challenge is renowned as the one of the hardest Ultra events in the UK from steep gradients to the tough terrain. Polly added, ‘I have suffered a lot of nerve and ligament damage in my feet.  So, my greatest threat in training and on the actual event, is not being able to take the excruciating pain that builds over time on the balls of my feet and toes. Mentally, I will just have to work through the pain barrier. My pain will be the children’s gain.’ 


Physical and mental fitness is an integral part of Royal Navy life, having previously been the first military woman to trek to the South Pole, Polly understands the importance to train; however, with a demanding day job it can sometimes be difficult.   


Polly said, ‘My day job is incredibly busy and demanding.  With over 4,300 people at RNAS Yeovilton, and about 100 aircraft that deploy on operations all around the world, it’s a busy airstation.  This means trying to find the time and energy to keep fit is a real challenge, but we must be “fit to fight” and so there is no excuse to keeping healthy and active!’ 


During the challenge, Polly will be accompanied by her partner Ben who has encouraged and supported her every step of the way. Along with Ben and her beloved late fathers’ words to ‘live life to the full’ there is no stopping Polly from taking on this challenge.

I am not going to stop on this challenge.

Cdr Polly Hatchard