What do we do?
This is a question we get asked from time to time. To sum it up at Man Up UK we would say that we are a provider and facilitator of all things outdoor adventure related. To explain this further we specialise in 3 areas; Endurance Sports, Adventure Breaks, and Water Based Activities. We manage to achieve this by having a diverse team and working with our partners, who are all established leaders and experts in their fields.
Our endurance events include Coastal Path half, full and ultra-Marathons ; Open water swimming, Cycle Sportives and Mud Runs. The adventure breaks we provide are suitable for School groups, hen, stag, family or Sport Teams. Which will be full of adventure and the best the area has to offer. The Water Based activities such as coasteering, kayaking, and surfing, are carried out off the magnificent Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Whatever the package you choose, we strive to make it an experience to remember and to give you something you cannot get elsewhere.
We are situated in Britain’s smallest city – St Davids, which lies in the middle of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, on Wales’ most westerly tip. This is an area that is steeped in history, natural beauty and miles and miles of natural playground for the adventure seekers of all abilities and we pride ourselves on our expert local knowledge, customer service and ability to give our clients what they want, whilst of course having lots of fun in the process.
How it all started
In 2010 whilst trying to find a fund raising idea for St Davids RFC Mini and Junior section, we came up with the idea of the Whitesands Challenge – a small triathlon with modest distances, made unique because the first leg was a kayak instead of swim (because no one fancied swimming!!) and the spectacular – if not a bit difficult run – around Carn Llidi Mountain to finish off.
The first challenge saw 6 individuals and about 10 teams complete it and was very much a bit of fun with the bragging rights of who was the fittest (although I can’t seem to remember who won the first one!!!!!). Of course this was also a great excuse to have a cocktail / fancy dress party afterwards.
Due to the popularity of the Challenge we did it all over again the following year, this time with more individuals having a go at the whole thing. This only seemed to drive peoples enthusiasm for more events with us. We received a variety of requests to expand, and from there, we put a little website together and came up with Man-Up UK, which was basically a bit of tongue in cheek name!
From that point things really started to take off and lead to us adding an extra event each year. From here Ras Dewi Sant (coast path marathon) ; Man-up in the Mud, a mud run based at Celtic Camping; The Pencarnan Run Series and Swim to the Edge were born. All of these events are now firmly cemented in the race calendar.
2015 saw us open up the Man-up Activities Shop in St Davids. Man Up UK introduced a clothing range along with activities such as Kayak fishing, Tour of the Saints (a sightseeing guided bike tour of the Peninsular and off road mountain biking trips).
It’s fair to say things have progressed extremely quickly for us over the past few years with a total of approximately 3500 people taking part in our events and over £20,000 being raised for local charities or organisations. What has made all of this possible is the massive support received from the local community in offering assistance to marshal events, use of equipment and land to make things happen, to name but a few.
2018 saw extra team members of some note join us and bringing their vast knowledge and experience to Man-Up UK. And 2019 will see more unusual and extreme activities and events being planned, but the one thing we do not want to lose is the fun, friendliness and value for money Man Up UK is renowned for, which has seen us receive so many returning customers and such positive feedback.