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Last weekend saw over 100 teams from the UK and  overseas take part in Walking With The Wounded’s annual flagship event, the ‘Cumbrian Challenge’.  The event, that seems to get better each year,  raised over £150,000 for vulnerable ex-servicemen and women so far this year, with money still coming in.  Since the first Cumbrian Challenge six years ago, the Challenge has raised am amazing £1 million.

Teams took to the mountains over three different routes: the shortest ‘Peak’ route is 15km long;  the middle ‘Tough’ route is 23km; and, lastly, 30km ‘Tougher’.  Conditions were very different to last year’s, when they had to deal with 80mph winds, sub-zero temperatures and 5ft-visibility on the mountain tops.  Last weekend it was very mild and allowed the competitors to take in the magnificent views from the peaks of the Cumbrian Mountains. However, with temperatures rising to 19 degrees, dehydration and heat-exhaustion were a concern.  But, as with previous years, the walkers took the 3 challenges in their stride and pushed hard to the finishing line, raising much needed money for our Veterans.

Teams set off in three waves from the start line at Grasmere Sports Ground, starting at 7:30am.  A “countdown of confetti” was scattered over them in celebration of the Royal Wedding that took place that afternoon.

Many teams consisted of ex-service men and women who have been supported back to independence by Walking With The Wounded’s programmes since leaving the armed forces.  One of the Veteran teams was ‘Team Alabare Challengers’ which, last year, was the fastest over the Tougher route; this year they were the first team off the mountain’s to cross the finish line and took the trophy for the fastest team to complete the Tough Route.

From the top of Blake Rigg, competitors gathered in the stunning scenery to watch the Royal Wedding on their iPhones (making use of excellent 4G reception!) and toasted the Royal couple with a glass of fizz. Members of WWTW’s last expedition, the Walk of Britain 2015, were present; they had met and walked alongside Prince Harry, WWTW’s Expedition Patron.

Members of WWTW’s latest expedition, the Walk Of America, also went to this year’s event  to meet participants and share their stories since leaving the military.

Prince Harry launched the Walk Of America last month in London at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. 3 UK and 3 US Veterans will walk 1,000 miles across America to raise awareness of military mental-health.

Also on the top of Blake Rigg was a ‘Tommy’ – to commemorate the centenary of the end of WW1 this year. WWTW is a beneficiary of the “There But Not There” campaign and we were pleased to feature two “Tommies” at the Cumbrian Challenge – promoting education, healing and remembrance of those who have lost their lives serving our country.

Winning teams:

Peak route: FDM Group – “The Sharmanators” (sponsored by FDM Group.)

Tough route: Alabare Challenges (A team made up of men and women supported by WWTW)

Tougher: FDM Group – “#ScoreToSettle”.

A full list of scores may be viewed here: http://results.opentracking.co.uk/index.php?eventcode=cumbrianchallenge18

The event was again sponsored by Title Sponsors BAE Systems and the FDM Group; without their support the event would not take place.  Other sponsors included Heineken and The Keswick Brewing Company who provided much needed refreshments at the finish-line.

If you missed out on taking part in the WWTW Cumbrian Challenge and are looking for a similar event, then why not click here to enter the Walking With The Wounded Balmoral Challenge?

Photos: Mike Buss

 

 

 

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