The Big Walk 2018
Staff, students, alumni and friends of the University took on the 26.2 mile, marathon distance sponsored walk to raise funds for the Sheffield Scanner appeal. The appeal will bring the first MRI-PET scanner to Yorkshire, and empower our researchers as they tackle a variety of devastating diseases.
For the last four years, members of the University community have taken part in our annual walking challenge to raise funds for charitable causes. Each year the walk creates an incredible atmosphere among the participants, with a buzz of excitement along the route and back on campus.
This year’s route set off from the Shiny Sheff in Lodgemoor, after a short early morning bus ride from Western Bank, and a quick stop take a few photos, the walkers were away, heading off towards Redmires Reservoirs, then on to Stanage Edge.
Stanage Pole was a popular point for walkers to take their first break, and soak up the views before moving on to follow the stunning Derwent Edge. As the heat of the day built up walkers started the trek across Back Tor, a long exposed section of the route, which for most was the hardest section of the day.
Having passed the halfway point, and with the most challenging section completed, walkers were greeted by Agden Reservoir, and started the descent down towards Low Bradfield. At this point walkers were able to take a break, and refuel with snacks provided by the (V)iew Deli and ACS team, as well as ice cream generously donated by Our Cow Molly. The walkers then set off to complete the final seven miles back to the University, walking through the Loxley Valley and passing a variety of disused industrial spaces, a stark contrast to the natural beauty of the earlier sections.
After descending through Crookes the end was almost insight, with just a trip around Crookes Valley Park to complete before crossing the finishing line at the University Arms. As more and more started to finish, the atmosphere built up in the garden of the pub, with friends and new companions alike celebrating their achievement together and cheering the next finishers across the line.
After setting off at 07:00 the first finishers were a score of runners, with Claire Wilkinson from the Faculty of Science crossing into the University Arms at 12:10 after a stellar morning’s running. After completing her run Claire shared her favourite thing about the day:
“Seeing all the marshals and all the people on the route. The marshals were overwhelmingly friendly and supportive all the way round, so it was really nice to check in with people. It was also a really stunning route through beautiful countryside.”
Despite a few drop outs from injuries, 324 of the starters completed the walk, with the last ones over the finishing line coming in at 21:05, to a round of applause from a crowd still enjoying the highlights of the day.
We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who gave up their day to take on this challenge, which has become a firm favourite in the University calendar. However, none of it would be possible without the tireless work of the organising team, as well as the 40 volunteers who supported the walk as marshals, transporters, back-markers, and cheerleaders to keep up the spirits of the walkers, so we are equally grateful to each and every one of them.
It was in part thanks to the fundraising efforts of our walkers that we were able to pass the £1.5 million mark in the Sheffield Scanner campaign shortly before the start of the walk, which has set us on the home stretch towards the final target of £2 million.
Find out more about the MRI-PET appeal on the Sheffield Scanner web pages.
To donate and support walkers from the Big Walk 2018 vist the JustGiving page.
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