Hills and valleys are no trouble for trekkers in South Downs challenge

TOUGH Runners and walkers take part in the South Downs Way Challenge at Queen Elizabeth Country Park.  Pictures: Ian Hargreaves (120668-2)
TOUGH Runners and walkers take part in the South Downs Way Challenge at Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Pictures: Ian Hargreaves (120668-2)

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WALKERS and joggers tackled hills and valleys in the beautiful East Hampshire countryside to raise tens of thousands of pounds for charity.

More than 300 people took part in the tough South Downs Way Challenge on Saturday, beginning early at Queen Elizabeth Country Park, near Clanfield.

WALKERS Victoria Hart, left, Terry Mills and Marlene Godwin.  (120668-3)

WALKERS Victoria Hart, left, Terry Mills and Marlene Godwin. (120668-3)

There was a choice of three routes; 8.5 miles, 15 miles and 20 miles with some running the entire length of the long route – all for the British Heart Foundation.

Sarah Stovell, 47, from James Copse, Lovedean, was the first female runner back after completing the 8.5mile route.

Mrs Stovell said: ‘It was an early start and it was chilly but what a beautiful place to do it.

‘It was rather misty and there was a great atmosphere.

‘It was a surprise to find I was the first woman back but I’m really pleased.

‘I’ve raised quite a lot of money for the British Heart Foundation because it’s a great charity.’

Chris Bovet-White, a 21-year-old Southampton University student, has already raised £400 and is hoping to raise even more.

‘I’m a volunteer for the British Heart Foundation so I know about all the good work they do,’ he said.

‘I yomped the 20 miles which is a mix of jogging, walking and running.

‘It was a lovely way to start the day.’

Organisers are hoping to raise around £35,000 from the challenge. Tacey Blest said: ‘It was a fabulous day.

‘Everyone was so happy and smiley.

‘We had people out on their own, with their families and even their dogs.’

To find out about other fundraising events in the area go to bhf.org.uk/ get-involved/events.aspx.