A determined team of seven College staff members embarked on a gruelling 106km walk around the Isle of Wight, raising over £2300 for local charities. Part of the Ultra series, the event started at 7am and continued through the night, concluding the next day.
The College’s Team 1909, Bernadette Barker, Corinne Gardner, Emma Griffin, Rachael Owen, Tim Turner, Jesse Jackson, and Damien Wright braved the elements and faced numerous obstacles during the walk, from dehydration and heatstroke to treacherous terrain.
Participants faced a challenging course that included coastal paths, cliff edges, woodland, steep inclines and declines and long stretches of road that played havoc on the joints and feet. Severe rain on the island in the week leading up to the event made certain sections particularly challenging.
Despite the obstacles, the team persevered, and memorable moments emerged, like an impromptu group rendition of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" that lifted spirits during a tough night-time stretch. The support and encouragement from local islanders also played a crucial role in the team's success — friends and family tracking team members on the event’s app and sending messages of encouragement and support throughout. The event was well organised, with checkpoints, fuel stops and an outstanding team of medics to check the welfare of walkers along the way.
Damien Wright described the challenge as "the most challenging activity both physically and mentally" he had ever done and expressed pride in the team's achievements. Tim Turner remarked on the "great team spirit throughout" and called it a "privilege" to work with the group.
Jesse Jackson shared similar sentiments, saying the experience was "tough mentally and physically", and the whole team expressed gratitude to Loughborough College for their support and all those who donated to the worthy causes.
The team also received support from Progress Tutor Simon Smith leading up to the event and A-Level lecturer Pedro Nunes, who acted as a support driver for the weekend. The Radmoor Restaurant team also played a part in preparing lasagna for the night before the event, ensuring the team was well-fuelled for the challenge ahead.
The group raised funds for charities Loughborough PACE, Molly's Gift, and Macmillan Cancer Support. The current total raised is £2300, with donations still coming in.
Though some team members are considering participating in the Peak District Challenge in the future, their current focus is on recovering from their impressive accomplishment in the Isle of Wight.
There is still time to donate using one of the links below if you would like to and are able.