'Squelch' is the sound of success at Hertfordshire hospice's Mud Pack Challenge
More than £70,000 was raised from this year's Mud Pack Challenge in aid of the Hospice Of St Francis - and the money is still coming in!
Sunday saw over 650 intrepid mud-lovers raise cash by taking part in the charity's soggiest, muddiest Mud Pack Challenge yet.
Gathering in the grounds of the historic Ashridge House, and tackling the five and ten-mile courses, competitors braved the dirt. The proceeds will go towards the £5million the hospice needs every year to help local people to live their precious lives well.
Head of events Kate Grigg said: “Our Mudpackers were muddy brilliant.
“No-one was going to be beaten by the weather or the mud. They embraced everything about the challenge and muddier was definitely better.
"I want to thank everyone who supported us in any way from the participants and fantastic volunteers to the set up team, the marshals, Ashridge House for hosting, Paul Stevens our course designer, and Framework Foundation for the scaffolding and for entering a team of 28!”
The highlight of the morning was the tarpaulin slide down Ashridge's 'Golden Valley' which was one of over 40 obstacles in this, the hospice’s 40th birthday year, including a commando mud crawl, log carry and wade through skips of muddy cold water.
And teams from as far afield as Denmark and Holland took part, either running in memory of someone special, as a team building exercise, a fitness challenge, or just for the sheer love of fun...and mud!
The BML’ers, a team of 13 ladies and gents from Wendover led by personal trainer Emma Eustace, 41, said, “The muddier the better! This was the perfect local event for a fantastic local charity to put my clients through their paces.”
Meanwhile, Longdean School sixth former James Glyn, from Leverstock Green, and pal James Ayres, both 18, from Kings Langley, smashed the 10-mile course in memory of James’ grandad Alan Grimley, who spent the last two weeks of his life at the hospice in January 2015.
Said James, “The difference the hospice made to my Grandad’s last days was incredible - letting his best friend, his dog, be with him in his room, enabling us all to be there as a family and supporting my mum with counselling afterwards.
"I was looking for a tough mudder and this was perfect way to give something back. It was tough, I could feel my legs going at the end, but so much fun. So many people who’ve sponsored me know people the hospice has helped – once you receive that care, everyone wants to give something back.”
The hospice's next big fundraising event is its annual Santa Dash in Hemel Hempstead on Sunday 15 December starting at 10am in Riverside. Sign up at stfrancis.org.uk/santadash