Last weekend four Bursars from Cheltenham College - with a combined age of 206 - took
on the challenge of ‘The Plod’ to raise funds for Action Medical Research for
John Champion, Stephen Friling, Andrew Hailes and Kirk Steel
completed the 40 mile route in just over 16 hours. Starting at midnight 34 four-member
teams made their way over the hills and dales of the Cotswold Way stopping at
checkpoints along the way before staggering over the finish line at Cleeve Hill in 5th position, ahead of many younger teams.
What started out as a physical challenge when the four first
contemplated the walk at the beginning of March quickly became much more for
the group from College. Andrew Hailes commented: “By the end of the walk we all
realised that we had taken on something much more important than walking 40
miles. The real challenge was raising funds for the charity.”
To date the Hairy Hikers, as the College team called
themselves, have raised over £4,500 for Action Medical Research for Children,
and they are hoping to raise even more.
David Graham who works for the charity commented “The teams
set off at midnight on Friday. The weather was a mixture of beautiful and
biblical but for the more outdoorsy types that made it more of a challenge. Not
everyone made it and some of the slower teams were finishing at 7pm on Sunday,
so they went through a lot of pain to raise money for us. We’d like to thank
everyone who took part and the people from the Cotswold Way who helped us put
on the event. We’re definitely going to come back.”
The Hairy Hikers are looking for a new challenge for next
year – possibly on bikes next time.
If you would like to support the Hairy Hikers and Action
Medical Research for Children please click here.