Isle of Wight Challenge welcomes 2,000 walkers

Michelle Jackson Photography

Around 2,000 walkers took part in the Isle of Wight Challenge over the weekend.

The challenge is the first event in a series of ultra-distance challenges across the UK, run by Ultra Challenge and the Island is expected to raise around hundreds of thousands of pounds for a variety of charities.

For those who did the full 66 mile (106km) walk, it started in Chale, went past the iconic Needles, and on to Cowes at the half way stop. Then it was off to Ventnor and back to base camp in Chale. Competitors could also do half or quarter-Island walks.

Among the participants who did the full walk, was Hugh Harrison, 71, a semi-retired Homeopath and Craniosacral Therapist from Northwood. He is raising money for Come Back Alive, the biggest organisation providing support to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Hugh said: “I did the walk last year for my 70th birthday and it was really tough. Saturday was fine in the sunshine with a fresh wind and I was grateful Sunday was much cooler.

“I’d like to thank a Polish medic, called Alec, who relieved me of about half my rucksack because I had packed too much and was struggling under the weight! And there was also Heather, a volunteer trek master, who helped me through the last six or seven miles at the end when I was feeling the strain.

“I thought the event was a lot safer than last year when we were guided through the Ventnor cliffs at night-time; this year we stuck to the main road during the night going from Cowes Showground to Ryde.

“It was a struggle but compared with what the people in Ukraine are going through; my little bit of suffering was nothing, in fact, it was a privilege to do the walk to raise money for them.”