Portsmouth woman completes trek after illness forced her to abandon walk

WHEN she signed up for a 40-mile walk last year, Eddie Bell was gutted to fall eight miles short of the finish line due to an illness.

Thursday, 20th July 2017, 4:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:21 am
L-R: Mark Baulch, Jilly Russell, Eddie Bell and Mark Smithard  completed the last eight miles of theTrek the Night challenge. From: Peter Denton.
L-R: Mark Baulch, Jilly Russell, Eddie Bell and Mark Smithard completed the last eight miles of theTrek the Night challenge. From: Peter Denton.

But her determination to raise money saw her complete the final eight miles ahead of the annual Trek the Night challenge last weekend.

Eddie, from Portsmouth, was part of the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce team which last July signed up for the walk to raise money for Action Medical Research.

But unfortunately, after trekking 32 miles of the 40-mile hike, Eddie fell ill and was unable to complete the course.

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A year later Eddie returned to the spot in the South Downs where she was forced to stop and walked the remaining eight miles.

With support from one of the original team and two friends she finished the walk over the Seven Sisters and onwards to the top of Beachy Head.

Teammate Mark Baulch said: ‘Eddie had always said that she would finish this challenge and I am so pleased that she has done so.

‘It was a difficult afternoon, emotionally and physically, especially on such a hot day.

‘I applaud Eddie’s determination and commitment and thank our friends and colleagues for their invaluable support too.’

The Hampshire Chamber of Commerce team raised just over £2,000 for Action Medical Research which contributed to the overall total of nearly £48,000.

Alice Lisher, community fundraiser for the organisation, said: ‘We were so disappointed for Eddie when she could not complete last year’s challenge.

‘Coming back and finally crossing that finish line just shows Eddie’s grit and determination to complete the course. We’re absolutely delighted for her.’

Last weekend 25 teams and five individuals took part in the 40-mile Trek the Night hike from Devil’s Dyke to Beachy Head, in the South Downs.

Action Medical Research is a UK-wide children’s charity which funds research to tackle the diseases affecting children.

The charity is currently funding research into conditions including asthma, prematurity, epilepsy, meningitis, cerebral palsy and brain cancer.