45 Challengers, 2500 km, 24 hours. £29,595 raised for The Hunger Project UK

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Thanks from Tim Holder…

Firstly, thank you so much to every single member of Team Hunger who took part in The Thames Path Challenge yesterday. I could see the determination on all your faces, in-between all the smiles and laughter that happened along the route. Your blood, sweat and tears not only proved what strong characters you all are, but has really made a difference. Your fundraising efforts will allow many more people, who face even tougher situations every day of their lives just to survive, the opportunity to improve their own futures and those of their children to a hunger and poverty free future.

Thames Path Challenge 2012 Hunger Project Challengers Start Line - Bishops Park Group

The Hunger Project’s single aim is to banish hunger and poverty from the world…sustainably and for good. Your efforts yesterday were another positive step towards this goal.

Many more events planned, both challenges and musical, for 2013. Please stay in touch with us over the coming weeks to find out the final result of Team Hunger’s joint efforts yesterday and to hear news of a 2012 Challengers Reunion! You can sign up to our Newsletter or join us on Facebook or via Twitter @hungerprojectuk and @worldhungerday.

Musings from Mark…

0530 I arrived at Bishops Park, near Putney Bridge just before dawn on Saturday 29th September to be greeted by a friendly Action Challenge steward pointing directions to the registration tent for the Thames Path Challenge.

Julienne Baron with Thames Path Challenge Volunteers - Louisa, Glenn and TimDawn broke quickly revealing an incredible crisp blue sky, support team – Tim, Glenn and Louisa helped us set up our trestle table and we awaited the first of almost 50 challengers to arrive for their big day. I am fairly nervous for them, not least because at the last count £25,000 had been raised – from 700 individual supporting donations.

I wondered for just a moment whether the challengers or their supporters would have computed that 25,000 people would die during the day from chronic persistent hunger and almost 1 billion would continue to exist in conditions that are frankly not acceptable in a world with so much.

Warm up with Jet from Gladiators, Thames Path Challenge 2012This is only our third ever challenge event and we are absolutely hooked. We only have two staff in the UK and a really fantastic Board of Trustees (by the by – all of them either taking the challenge or supporting today) but to have recruited so many eager volunteer walkers and runners to take on the immense Thames Path Challenge suddenly seems a little humbling and overwhelming!

0645 Onwards – no need to fret, Action Challenge are here with a force of reassuringly familiar faces, music is blaring and Jet from Gladiators is starting to warm up the first challengers setting off a 7am. It’s going to be a great 24 hours – and the sheer physical is effort about to witnessed is absolutely nothing in comparison to the incredibly tough conditions being endured every day by those who just crave the opportunity to sustain themselves and their families without food aid!

Julienne Baron, Amelia East - Thames Path Challenge start at Bishops Park, Fulham0650 Amelia East and Julienne Baron (AKA ‘The Hunger Chicks‘) arrive for their 0715 start and away we go! Followed quickly by Lindsay Williams – looking extremely professional, we suspected he would be fast but finishing the 100km in 13:39:40 was spectacular (Top 5 finish).

Lindsay Williams, Tony Lander - Thames Path Challenge Start Line0815 Miranda Chada and walking partner Cindy Glenn up next before the chaos begins as our 40 odd 0915 starters begin to arrive… cameras out for the fantastic group photo. Slightly concerned to see Shobana Iyer arrive with a rather fancy handbag! Is she really going to do the 50km with it over her shoulder? I suspect we might need to pop that in the car before the finish.

0915 and they’re off – Debbie Smith, Maxine Moorey, Sandrine Desbarbieux, Nicky Spicer, Emma Fadlon, Kim Davies – AKA ‘Debs Dawdlers’, Diana Bird, Deborah Giddings, Rachel Moore, Shushannah Story, Varsha Bakhai, Elsie Igbinadolor (100km), Candice Bordeaux (100km), Lev Babiev (100km), Steve Highman, Steve Rorke, Gemke Fabricius, Lize Parfent, Rob Shepherd (100km), Tim Baxter, Mina Tailor (100km), Nick Johnson, Mark Britton, Liliana Britton, Max Trautman – AKA ‘The Hunger Harriers’, Gary Avis, Jane Wright, Laurence (speedy) Scarlett and Hildrene Ellis – AKA ‘Scarlett Striders’, Judith Pollock, Kate Spencer – AKA ‘The Hunger Chicks’, Merilee Karr, Christopher Hanson, Andrew Robson, Ayanna Mathurine and Shauna Sweeney.

Nita Khatri Race Badge Thames Path 100km Challenge in aid of The Hunger Project_sm0945 well not quite all have started, we still have to see Nita Khatri, Colleen Gore and Karin Hugo march through the start, all three have been training relentlessly for the 100km distance for months. Fingers crossed for them (Oh and not to forget Corinne Baldrick who is running the 50km and Susie Williams who has just arrived from the North West).

1030 pack up and off in our supporting vehicle as we follow them through all the stops to the 50km mid/finish point at Runnymede arriving at 1700.. Glenn and supporting team back home to rest before supporting our 100km finishers at Henley from 0700 on Sunday.

Elsie Igbinadolor, Candice Bordeaux 100km Thames Path Challenge Finish Line Henley smA shout out to Fiona Rutherford and Elsa Lord who didn’t make it, we missed you and hopefully will see you back in 2013.

A special note of thanks to Jason at Thames-Path.net (Thames Path Meetup Group) and Tanweer at Print Express for all your help – we just couldn’t have done it without you both.

What a day! Thank you…… £29,595 raised so far

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