Well, it was a roller coaster as I knew it would be – Grand Canal Challenge 2017 was fantastic from its 7.30am start right through to the finish.  All our wonderful runners, cyclists and walkers were met at the finish line with raptuous cheers and medals – as well they might, having completed courses of various lengths – some had walked for 26 miles!  Special praise must go to Quainton Hall School whose pupils, together with parents and friends, completed 12 miles – no mean feat for anyone, let alone young children!

Among those taking part in the Challenge were my husband, son and daughter. Below is proud mum with son Jonathan who loves his cycling so much that he rode the 26 miles between Royal Brompton and Harefield, had a break, and then rode back again! My daughter ran the last six miles at a fast pace. Needless to say, she would kill me if I put a picture of her up as she was unsurprisingly more than a little breathless! 

Huge thanks to so many people who made the event a great success.  Of course the main heroes are those people who took part and raised so much money – a special mention must go to double lung transplant patient, Don Wooton. 

We could not have put on the event without our fabulous sponsors Metro Bank and Strutt & Parker Estate Agents, both of whom were incredibly supportive.

Thanks to the best coach company in the world – Wattsway Travel (I am a bit biased but Mark was a superstar on the day) – who provided us with transportation back to London at the end of the day.

Chris Bowles and his fantastic band provided the music and created a lovely festival atmosphere for finishers.  Thanks also to all our amazing volunteers who served food, gave out medals, sold merchandise, put up and took down gazebos, distributed water, took participants to the start point – oh, and served the beer. Very important that.

And the most ginormous thanks to the Charity’s own Ashley Westpfel and Alexis Gebbie who, with great assistance from the rest of the Charity team, pulled it all together – it’s a lot of work but my goodness, it is also hugely worth it. 

We will let you know how much was raised in the news section of our website very soon, but it is already well over £20k and climbing all the time.