Fringe Box



Hill Walkers Brave the Elements for Guildford YMCA

Published on: 9 May, 2012
Updated on: 10 May, 2012

Despite the weather being wet and wild, a remarkable number of determined people took to the Surrey Hills to conquer its three highest peaks and raise significant funds for Guildford YMCA.

Faced with either a 14mile option, with intervening car rides, or the 26-mile option (a marathon with hills!) each team chose whether to make the attempt on Saturday or Sunday, April 28 or 29.

Walkers from rhw solicitors LLP.

As it turned out the rain and mud was appalling on both days – though one walker said: “At least it was the right sort of mud – it didn’t stick to your boots and make them heavier.”

One or two teams gathered for a 6am start on the Saturday but visibility was so poor they couldn’t see across the car park and an executive decision was taken to reschedule. Elsewhere, others set off with great optimism but the weather certainly added to the challenge element.

Some of the walkers from Surrey Satellite Technology.

Swarna Kakarlapudi of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, said: “We managed to reach all the three peaks on Saturday and definitely the challenge was more the weather than the hills.

“It did give a great feeling of achievement particularly after the last peak in that weather.”

Michele Turitto of OTM Consulting Ltd, said: “Yes, we did manage to complete the walk. It was a tough but memorable day.  Most people in the office look beyond tired, but at the same time they have a big smile on their faces.”

The conditions were universally grim, making the challenge much more difficult, which makes the achievement all the more significant.  The ‘marathon’ option was not for the faint hearted or under prepared.

Peter Black of Punter Southall said: “We had 11 people who managed the full 26 miles and various others who did the 14. I think the mud underfoot was probably worse than the rain!”

Women's team from Plantation, Guildford.

It is already clear that the event has raised in excess of £14,000. This will be used to remodel the basement level of Guildford YMCA’s Bridge Street building, to provide improved facilities for both the 16- to 25-year-olds for whom the Y is home, and for young people across the borough who connect with the YMCA’s youth projects.

The event was the brainchild of Richard Fox of The Learning Corporation, and Guildford YMCA is also grateful to the Surrey Chambers of Commerce for its support.

Guildford YMCA salutes those who ‘picked up the gauntlet’ – OTM Consulting, Barlow Robbins, Stevens & Bolton LLP, RHW Solicitors, Opus, Punter Southall, Guildford College, Charles Russell, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and its own youth workers from Plantation – and looks forward to receiving those same gauntlets back, full of money, during a reception on May 28 at Guildford YMCA.

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