Friday, 05 August 2016
Blisters, sprained muscles and even hypothermia were endured by University of Worcester staff on a charity trek along one of Britain’s best known landmarks.
Despite a catalogue of injuries, nearly half of the 38-strong team managed to complete the Hadrian’s Wall Walk challenge.
Staff faced the highs and lows of emotion as they pushed their bodies to the limit, managing to cover the 85-mile distance in just over 72 hours and smashing their £5,000 fundraising target.
Teams walked on average between 12 and 14 hours a day, starting often at 7am and finishing in one case at midnight after a team got lost on route.
One team walked 37 miles in one day to catch up after falling behind with injuries.
Tom Taylor, the University’s Assistant Director of Security and Operations, who principally organised the event, said one member of staff was only convinced to pull out of the challenge when he was told he risked losing a toe if he continued.
Walkers have so far raised £5,570 for the University’s chosen Charity of the Year, the Maggs Day Centre, a Worcester-based charity that helps the city’s homeless.
Nine teams took part from a range of departments; facilities, finance, the University of Worcester Arena, health and society, communications, and the University and Worcestershire County Council’s joint library The Hive, as well as Maggs Day Centre.
Support teams from the University made up of facilities staff and Sports Therapy students, along with a sports therapist who had recently graduated, from the Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, worked from 6am to beyond midnight to transport injured walkers and their kits, offer massages and patch them up.
Of the 38 that set out, 16 completed the full walk, and nearly everyone managed to cross the finish line having completed a sizeable distance.
"They learnt not only about themselves but about each other,” said Mr Taylor, whose team walked a total of 34.5 hours to cover the distance.
“Emotions were a big part of the challenge because everybody had their highs and lows.
“One minute they’d be crying, the next minute they were laughing and joking.
“But it was good to see how other colleagues helped them through it.
“There was fantastic team spirit amongst them. If someone was feeling a bit low at the end of the day others would really rally round, cook them food and crack a few jokes. It increased morale.
“But to get up the next morning and do it all over again was very demanding, especially if you were carrying injuries.”
To sponsor the University’s Hadrian’s Wall Walk visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/universityofworcester.