Sunday 30th June brought near perfect weather conditions for this year's Jurassic Challenge Walks, as the early morning mist which greeted those starting the 32-mile walk from Corfe eventually cleared to reveal a warm and sunny summer day.
A total of well over 60 walkers, and several dogs, took part in the event, which offers 10, 20 and 32-mile routes across the beautiful Purbeck Hills and Jurassic Coast. This year's route had been altered at late notice to avoid sections of the coast that have suffered landslips in recent weeks, but was none-the-less challenging for it, and there were some tired limbs and blistered feet by the time everyone arrived safely at the finish line close to the magnificent ruins of Corfe Castle.
As always, event organiser Diana NcNally and her team of volunteers had left nothing to chance, and the early starters were treated to a cooked breakfast at Durston, where the 20-mile walkers join the route, and checkpoints throughout the route provided participants with the opportunity to take on additional water and food, or just to rest up for a moment before continuing.
This year's event also saw a team of four take on the 32-mile Challenge Trophy, with a previous record of 9 hours and 41 minutes firmly in their sights to surpass. And surpass it they did, in a quite incredible time of 8 hours and 14 miins, which will certainly take some beating next year!
Two weeks later, Diana and the team were again at Durston for the Junior Jurassic Walks, which offer 1, 2 and 5-mile routes, and which for the first time also included a 10-mile Junior Challenge Tophy which was completed by Samuel in a time of 3 hours and 42 minutes, a tremendous achievement. As always, certificates and medals were awarded to all participants and we're delighted to report that the Jurassic Walks have this year raised over £8,600 for the Smile4Wessex Appeal, a magnificent amount. Our grateful thanks go to all who took part or helped with the organisation and running of this year's event, and we hope to do it all over again in 2014.