Proving ground a real test for team

Lockheed Martin staff on Millbrook run.
Lockheed Martin staff on Millbrook run.

A group of 69 employees from Amphill technology company Lockheed Martin took on the gruelling 5km Millbrook Alpine DVD (MAD) challenge over the hills of Millbrook Proving Ground to raise more than £800 for charity.

They joined more than 100 other local competitors to raise money for Help for Heroes and Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice. The site is usually used to test and develop vehicles, and the track is set in 700 acres of the steepest inclines and declines in the area.

The route features many different kinds of difficult terrain, from sand and gravel through to steep tarmac and grassy hills, with participants in the challenge having to tackle the final hurdle of Millbrook’s infamous wading pond just before the finish line.

Lockheed Martin engineering intern Chris Milbourne finished first overall on the day with a time of 22:34, just 49 seconds off the course record.

Steve Strachan, head of supply chain at Lockheed Martin Ampthill and a MAD challenge participant, said: “Even up the steepest hills and over the most gruelling terrains of the course, it was so good to see everyone encouraging each other and helping where they could so that we could all succeed as a team. Those that finished early stuck around to cheer everyone else over the line.

“I’m delighted that Chris came first on the day out of everyone that took part, but I’m really proud of all of our employees for taking on and beating such a challenge and for a really good cause. Some were already runners, some weren’t but they all did exceptionally well.

“As well as the official charity of Help for Heroes, we decided to fundraise for a local cause too. We’ve raised over £800 so far and the money’s still coming in.”

The challenge was held on the eve of the Defence Vehicle Dynamics (DVD) event, a renowned British Army trade show held every two years at the site.

Lockheed Martin had a stand at the show to demonstrate its latest innovations in major Ministry of Defence armoured vehicle programmes.