Air Engineering Commander raises over £3000 for charity by completing exhausting Jurassic Coast 100km ultra challenge

Storyline: NavyFit

Commander Polly Hatchard (48) has completed one of the hardest Ultra events in the UK walking non-stop for 100km along the Jurassic Coastline on Sat 18 May into the early hours of Sun 19 May, raising an astonishing £3003.75 for Rainbow Trust Children’s charity.

Polly is the Head of Air Engineering at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton with over 25 years of Royal Naval service. Polly is no stranger to taking on tough challenges and completed the challenge in an incredible 29 hours and 44 minutes. 


Polly started her trek at Corfe Castle before finishing in the vibrant town of Bridport.  Walking along the unforgiving coastline Polly climbed a staggering 2,300m in elevation, which is equivalent to 955m more than the UK’s highest mountain Ben Nevis.  


The challenge already by no means easy was even harder under temperamental weather conditions from high humidity to scorching sunshine mixed with thunderstorms and heavy downpours, resulting in slippery sticky mud and loose rock.  


Polly said ‘I have done many mad adventures in my time, but this has been by far my hardest. My feet are completely broken, my body screaming, and I have hobbled along for hours on end. The gradients have been ridiculous and quantity of ‘rhythm breaking’ stiles and narrow sheep tracks has made progress painstakingly slow… 30 horrific hours later ... I finished!’


Despite an aching mind and body, Polly hard earned efforts were reward by reaching and sailing past her original £1000 goal for the Rainbow Trust Children’s charity currently totaling over £3000 donated. Rainbow Trust provides practical and emotional support to families caring for a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness.

Polly said, ‘Thank you everyone who has supported me. You are all incredible. I have been self-funded so every penny has gone directly to Rainbow Trust Childrens Charity.  Despite my septic blisters and broken feet and aching body, it’s been a privilege and honour supporting Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity and their associated ultra brave families.’


The £3,000 raised for Rainbow Trust is enough to pay for around 100 hours of practical and emotional support to families with a seriously ill child or pay for a year’s travel expenses for a Family Support Worker supporting up to 25 families.


Zillah Bingley, Chief Executive of Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Commander Polly Hatchard for her tremendous achievement and for raising an amazing amount for seriously ill children and their families. The number of families caring for a seriously ill child referred to Rainbow Trust more than doubled in the last six months, increasing by 123%, and we receive no central government funding: instead we are reliant entirely on the generosity of voluntary donations and fundraising efforts like Polly's. Thank you so much.”    


RNAS Yeovilton is incredibly proud of Polly’s physical, mental and fundraising achievements. They are a testament to Royal Navy Core Values and Navy fitness. 


Polly is still accepting donations, to donate please just visit Polly’s Just Giving site. Polly said, ‘I did not stop on this challenge so please don’t stop donating!’

I have done many mad adventures in my time, but this has been by far my hardest.

Cdr Polly Hatchard