A fantastic day of fundraising and walking across the fens and through the iconic city of Cambridge saw 105 walkers and runners, some in fancy dress, raise a record breaking £22.5k on Garden Re-Leaf Day 2017.
Sponsored by Scotsdales, staff at their Horningsea garden centre worked hard to ensure the event started with a hoot and a cheer creating specially designed banners and balloon displays all of which added to a great atmosphere. Cutting the ribbon to start the walk, Garden Re-Leaf Day founder and Greenfingers Trustee Boyd Douglas Davies, along with Glee's Matthew Mein who masterminded the first Garden Re-Leaf Day Walk in 2015, then headed off to complete the 20 mile route.
With support along the route from vehicles sponsored by Cadix Ltd, Quinton Edwards and Town & Country's Mark Butler and welcome refreshment points sponsored by SBM Life Science, the walkers were kept motivated as they faced bracing wind and chilly conditions.
Cherry tomato runner Heidi Towse was the first 10 mile runner to complete the route in under 1 hour 45mins before going on to row 13 miles to make up an impressive duathlon. Alongside Heidi, the Scotsdales team at Great Shelford clocked up the miles on a static bike as they collected money for Greenfingers Charity.
Despite taking a wrong turning, Team Elho was the first 20 mile runners in, closely followed by Matthew Mein and Briers Matt Jackson. Lead 20 mile walkers, Simon Quinton Smith and Great British Cards Chris Houfe set a blistering pace, collecting their medals looking fresh and confident, closely followed by Gardenstores Paul Williams.
Completing the walk, Boyd Douglas Davies said: "What a great day, and what an Incredible turnout - the industry, Scotsdales and the Greenfingers team did us proud! Matt Mein, I take my hat off to, brilliant idea and incredible that he ran it! Chris Houfe and Simon Quinton Smith - who'd have thought it! Little did I know when I set off with them that they were both speed walkers. What an incredible Pace, blistering is the only word! I'm chuffed to bits with the event, the spirit, the amount raised and my own result...8th, just 5 minutes behind the lead walkers...and I ache like mad"
Goody bags sponsored by Hozelock and Briers and SBM Life Science, who also sponsored the medals along with a welcome barbecue sponsored by LOFA and Outback.greeted the walkers at the finish point. Other event sponsors included GIMA and Kelkay.
See the gallery of photos frome the event below and watch out for a special Garden Re-Leaf Day issue later this week - please send us pictures from you own events.
Eds footnote: Sorry the pictures are not in order and that this report is late being published. The walk was a truly blistering experience for me and I've discovered they don't make blister plasters big enough if you carry on walking for 12 miles after the blisters start. That and our systems being down yesterday are my hopeless excuses, but what a privilege to be a part of a really great event and to do my part to raise funds for Greenfingers. Bring on Garden Re-Leaf Day 2018!! By the way our Labradoodles were only just getting started by the time we'd done 20 miles, they just got quite bored as I was walking sooo slow for the last 3 miles...
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