On a hazy summer Sunday two weekends ago, 190 runners, cyclists and walkers dug out their Lycra and took on our second epic Grand Canal Challenge

Together, our participants, many of whom were former patients of our hospitals, raised an incredible £30,000 and the figure is rising by the day!

Participants could enjoy stunning scenery as they passed out of London along the Grand Union Canal and headed into the Colne Valley. Cheered on by our gallant volunteers at checkpoints along the route, they could also enjoy samples of local craft beers generously donated by The Malt Brewery, Tring Brewery and The Mighty Oak Brewery.

Fifteen brave souls took on the epic 26 mile challenge on foot, completing the route in seven to eight hours. Among them were Carole Green and her teammates Linda Fuller and Libby May, who together have raised a mighty £2,505 and counting.

Carole said:

We were on Cloud 9 when we finished! The glass of wine went down very well and seems it was all we needed. The Charity’s support team was excellent and the refreshments and encouragement were brilliant!

Lynne Irwin also took on the walking marathon. She said:

Each checkpoint had a different feel and the people at them were genuinely supportive, which makes a huge difference!

Making the 26-mile bike ride look like a walk in the park, Jonathan Marriott was first to pass the finish line at Harefield Hospital, completing the route in just two hours fifteen minutes, followed by our hospital shuttle bus driver, Lee Clarke.

Back at home base, our volunteers were busily preparing for the Finishers’ Festival, with a hog roast, more beer (this time donated by The Old Orchard, Harefield) and music from our very own Dr Chris Bowles, David Botting and Michael Bailey, to cheer the weary but otherwise cheery participants.

We would like to say a massive thank you to all of our runners, walkers and cyclists for their sterling efforts and fantastic fundraising.

Huge thanks also go to our sponsors Metro Bank and Strutt & Parker, without whom we could not have put on the event that we were able to, and our many volunteers, including Diane and Adrian Connell who also provided the hog roast.

Thank you also to the Natural Health Company, Nila UK and Waitrose for providing snacks and water, to Juicy Jackets who provided delicious jacket potatoes, Brixton Amusements who donated a bouncy castle and to the aforementioned Malt Brewery, Tring Brewery, Mighty Oak Brewery and the Old Orchard for kindly donating beer.

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