The inaugural Surrey Hills Challenge charity event on Sunday 25th September was a huge success with over 500 entrants participating in one of four walking and running challenges on the beautiful landscape of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
People of all ages and fitness joined the event which saw competitors and families walk or run The Ultra (60km), the Half (21km), the Ten (10km) or the Five (5km). All the routes were on the Greensand Way and designed to test participants’ stamina and strength.
The Ultra kicked off bright and early at 06:00 in Haslemere, where the Greensand Way originates, and the Half started at 09:00 from the Duke of Kent School in Peaslake. Participants scaled Gibbet Hill, Wormley Hill, Hydon’s Ball, Hascombe Hill, Reynards Hill, Pitch Hill, Holmbury Hill, Leith Hill (the highest point) and finally Bury Hill. The total climb of the route Ultra route was the equivalent of climbing Mt. Snowdon in Wales, the highest point in the British Isles outside of the Scottish Highlands. It was not for the feint hearted!
The winning man of the Ultra was Ry Webb with a time of 05:27:24, the winning woman was Lizzy Stoneman with a time of 07:17:31. The winning man of the Half run was Vaughan Moseley with a time of 01:33:08 and the Half walk was Rolf Lewendon-Strutt with a time of 01:52:10. The winning woman of the Half run was Donna Reid with a time of 01:46:34 and the Half walk was Hanne-Merete Hagset with a time of 02:22:20.
Competitors were cheered on by an enthusiastic team of volunteer marshals with themed aid stations that proved a popular talking point along the route. Themes included the 80s, Pyjama Party, Minions, Motoring and Mad Hatters’ Tea Party.
A party atmosphere at the Hurtwood pumped up competitors of the Five and Ten which started at 10:00 and covered wide open tracks onto footpaths and woodland trails through peaceful and heather covered landscape. The winning male of the 10k was Mark Walker with a time of 00:45:31 and the winning female Abi Trulove with a time of 00:58:01. The winning woman of the 5k was Kim Taylor with a time of 00:24:17 and the winning male was Tom Child with a time of 00:26:42.
Families joined in the fun at the Five and Ten with our youngest competitor aged just four!
All participants completing their challenge received a unique Surrey Hills Challenge medal shaped in the county of Surrey.
Aimed at raising awareness and funds for the Community Foundation for Surrey and the Surrey Hills Trust Fund, teams from both charities entered the Surrey Hills Challenge and were also on hand to talk to participants and spectators about all the good works they do.
Jamie McAllister, Event Director, Surrey Hills Challenge comments:
“We are thrilled with the success of the first Surrey Hills Challenge. The event offered four completely different sporting events for all abilities and we have been overwhelmed with all the positive feedback from everyone that took part. The event not only showcased the beautiful Surrey Hills but also helped raise awareness of the fundraising needs of the Community Foundation for Surrey and the Surrey Hills Trust Fund and we look forward to building on this in 2017!”
Wendy Varcoe, Executive Director of the Community Foundation for Surrey comments;
“It was wonderful to see so many families, walkers and runners of all ages and abilities from communities across the county enjoying the inspiring landscape of the Surrey Hills. The event was a great success and we look forward to it continuing for many years to come.”
Chairman of the Surrey Hills Trust Fund, Neil Maltby comments;
“The support received for this event was fantastic and a great opportunity for people taking part to not only learn more about The Surrey Hills Trust Fund but understand how they can help to safeguard this beautiful area for future generations.”
All money raised by participants will help support local communities across Surrey as well as contribute to the conservation of the unique Surrey Hills countryside. Any funds raised by participants will be split equally between the Community Foundation for Surrey and the Surrey Hills Trust Fund.
The Community Foundation for Surrey is an independent charitable trust established to inspire local giving for local need. They support local community and voluntary groups who are making a difference to the quality of local community life by awarding grants to fund their work.
The Community Foundation established the Surrey Hills Trust Fund to exclusively help local projects and community groups within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Donations from the event will enable the Trust Fund to help local projects conserving the AONB and support the people who live, work and enjoy the area. Projects will include landscape conservation, educating younger generations on the importance and value of the countryside, and enhancing the ecology & biodiversity of the local area.