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Hundreds walk this Way!
8:43am Friday 11th October 2013 in News
Six hundred charity walkers clocked up 9,5000 miles between them during Sunday’s Walk the Test Way.
Organisers, the Rotary Club of Romsey Test, described the event as a “huge success”. Although more than 140 of those registered did not turn up on the day, the field was the biggest yet and Rotary still collected the £10 registration fees of each of the no-shows.
Club president, Keith Cameron, commented: “It was a fantastic day, full of fun, determination and achievement by the walkers to raise money for worthy causes.”
Age was no barrier for the walk, as participants ranged in age from 14 days to 79 years.
There were some interesting examples of “walking” attire on show, from brightly-coloured feather scarves to a super woman outfit. Most noticeable, in her long pink dress, was Heather Parsons, who walked all the way from St Mary Bourne, raising money for the Southampton Hospital charity, Where There’s a Will.
Romsey resident, Thelma Dowling, who will be 80 in a few months’ time, managed a sprint finish after walking the 25.5 miles from St Mary Bourne. She said she was in training for the great South Downs Walk in a few weeks’ time.
First to complete course from St Mary Bourne, in under six hours, was Alex Prinsep, walking for the Romsey Air Cadets. Walking for Romsey Scouts was David Mecann, who set a fast pace to be the first in from Wherwell.
Walkers tackling the full “marathon” distance of 25.5 miles began to register in the Crosfield Hall at 6.15am, first light.
Early starters began in misty conditions before the sun appeared and temperatures climbed to 20C.
Registrations for the shorter distances continued throughout the morning and walkers were taken by bus to their respective start points. All the buses ran on time, thanks to Wheelers Travel.
New this year, and much appreciated by all the walkers, was the breakfast bar in the Crosfield Hall, where Romsey Explorer Scouts prepared hundreds of bacon rolls and coffee or tea.
Walkers were provided with free water and Twix bars along the the route, thanks to John Ferguson of Bettervend.
Thanks to a special arrangement with the Broadlands Estate and other landowners, the final stage of the walk was diverted to avoid the often muddy and tortuous Squab Wood. Lady Brabourne and Rotary Club of Romsey Test president, Keith Cameron, greeted walkers and presented them with their medals as they crossed the finish line in War Memorial Park.
The event was well supported by a number of charities, who had stalls in the park to welcome the groups walking for their cause. Radio Lollipop provided a commentary on each of the returning walkers to the applause of their supporters.
Mr Cameron said that effort of Rotarians, members of the Inner Wheel and other supporters had resulted in the best walk yet – a sentiment echoed by many of the participants.
Rotary are still totting up the amount raised for good causes on the day.
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