PICTURES: Hundreds complete Mendip Challenge for Weston Hospicecare
- Credit: Archant
Almost 1,100 walkers hit the Somerset hills on Sunday to take on the Mendip Challenge to raise money for Weston Hospicecare in the charity’s 30th anniversary year.
The bumper turnout of 1,094 - the highest number of entries in more than a decade - saw participants complete sponsored 30, 20 or 10-mile routes along the West Mendip Way.
Most defied wet conditions to walk the hilly terrain, while some hardy souls chose to run the course.
It is too early to say how much was raised by this year's Mendip Challenge - sponsored once again by long-term hospice supporters Howards Motor Group - but organisers are hopeful it could beat last year's total of £66,000.
Money raised will be used to help fund the hospice's work caring for people across the community with life-limiting illnesses.
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Event manager Simon Angear said: "We were bowled over by the support for the Mendip Challenge this year, both in terms of numbers and by the enthusiasm and good cheer with which people threw themselves into the challenge despite the tough weather conditions.
"All of the participants - and the huge number of tireless volunteers who helped keep them going - did us proud.
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"It means the world to the team at Weston Hospicecare to see so many people enjoying the event in support of the work we do, so huge thanks to everyone who was a part of it."
Participants were greeted with an after party at Weston Cricket Club with music from Simon Perigud and Seb Longhorn and a bar and barbecue run by cricket club volunteers.
En route, they were energised and hydrated by more than 2,000 litres of water, 4,200 packets of crisps and 8,192 chocolate bars donated by Lidl.
The event was backed by several large groups including 1st King Alfred Scouts and the Priory Learning Trust, which has adopted the hospice as its charity of the year and recruited more than 100 participants from across its six schools.
The trust's executive principal Neville Coles was among them, and successfully completed the full 30-mile route.
He said afterwards: "This was a superb walk and event, and we are delighted to partner with the brilliant charity and cause Weston Hospicecare."