For the 10th anniversary of the Howard’s Way Walk, a group of events professionals will be tackling the Ridgeway, from Wiltshire to Herfordshire, as part of a long-standing mission to raise money for pancreatic cancer research.
This annual fundraising effort gathers together a collection of colleagues, associates and industry friends to take on a tough challenge, raising both awareness and money to help fight pancreatic cancer. This year’s walk will cover a total of 87-miles over the Ridgeway over the weekend of 8-10 June, mirroring the route of the first of the Howard’s Way Walks 10 years ago – but this time starting from the stone circle at Avebury and finishing at Ivinghoe Beacon. It will be the final big push in a series of eight long walks and two shorter, industry-wide ‘netwalking’ events. Funds raised so far have topped £350,000.
The Howard’s Way Walk initially began in 2008, when freelance logistics manager Howard Kerr planned to tackle the challenge of the Ridgeway’s tough terrain. His passion for walking all over the UK had been a big part of his life, making this a perfect way to honour his endeavours and help support research into pancreatic cancer.
A team of 12 industry professionals completed the first walk in just three days; half the recommended six-day route time. Kerr was determined to raise money to fight the disease that was to take his life later in 2008. Its second year saw participant numbers double, and the event has continued to grow since, while maintaining a number of core walkers, including Simon Burton, Managing Director, Exposure Communications; Andrew Dixey, JLR Global Government & Utility Strategy Manager, Jaguar Land Rover; Lee Farrant, Founder, 3Flags; Laura Moody, Managing Director, Blondefish, and Gary White, Managing Director, White Productions.
These unique events have given industry professionals a great excuse to get together, whilst raising money in support of the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.
Our very own Managing Director Nick Grecian, Howard’s brother-in-law, has led the following walks in Kerr’s memory on some of most spectacular and challenging landscapes in Britain:
2008: The Ridgeway 87 - Miles
2009: Hadrian’s Wall Path - 84 Miles
2010: South Downs Way - 100 Miles
2011: Dales Way - 84 Miles
2012: Cotswold Way - 104 Miles
2013: West Highland Way - 96 Miles
2015: London - 10 miles
2016: London - 10 miles
2016: Two Moors Way - 117 Miles (101 for most)
2018: The Ridgeway - 87 Miles
Grecian commented: “It takes a lot of organising and the fundraising gets harder each year, but our 10th anniversary seems a logical time to wind it up. We’ve raised over £350,000 in total, which has helped make serious inroads in terms of achieving earlier diagnosis of the disease. The researchers are not there yet, but there is real cause to believe we’ll see a huge improvement declared in the near future.
“It has been an interesting journey, literally – one with a genuine mix of pain and pleasure. A huge sense of achievement, some amazing friendships forged and a lot of self-discovery for those participating…and all in a great cause!”
This year’s final walk will be undertaken by a total of 30 people, of whom 18 will tackle the full route. They will be supported as usual by Howard’s widow, Jane, who ensures that there are comfort stations set up along the route to provide the walkers with plenty of energy-rich food and drinks.
We wish the best of luck to everyone tackling the Ridgeway and look forward to hearing about how they got on! If you’d like to join us in supporting the team on this mighty challenge, then head over to the dedicated Virgin Money Giving page: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/HowardsWayWalk2018
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