Gearing up for gruelling Gurkha fundraiser
It started out in 1981 as a military training exercise used to toughen up the Queen’s Gurkha Signals. Now more than three decades on, a team from Emplas will be among the hundreds of competitors being put through their paces in the gruelling Trailwalker challenge.
Held on July 13-15, the charity fundraiser is based around a challenging 100km course across the South Downs, which must be completed by a team of four, plus a support crew of two, within 30 hours or less.
Making up the Emplas Team are managing director Ryan Johnson, national sales manager Jody Vincent, senior estimator Damian Morphett, and surveyor Damian Smith. Their two-man support crew is made up by deputy managing director Kush Patel, and sales director John Leary.
“It’s a fairly demanding course,” Duncan Smith said. “Anyone who knows the South Downs will recognise straight away that it’s not just the distance that makes it such a challenge but the changes in altitude you encounter along the way.
“The challenge and any bumps, sprains and scrapes along the way are, however, worth it because all monies raised go to Oxfam and will support its continuing work to tackle extreme poverty and famine around the world.
“We’re appealing to the whole industry to get behind us to support this vital work.”
The first Trailwalker event was held in the UK in 1998. The course passes through nine checkpoints across the South Downs from Portsmouth before ending in Brighton.
The course record was set in 2004 by the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistics Regiment which completed the 100km distance in 9 hours 50 minutes. This compares to a course average of 27 hours.
To qualify for entry the Emplas team needs to raise more than £1,000. However, its MD Ryan Johnson set a far more ambitious target.
“The window and door industry has an outstanding record of charitable giving and we would ask our colleagues in the industry to dig deep into their pockets again in support for what is a very worthy and important work,” he said.
“Our official qualification target is £1,000 but I’m certain that we can go far beyond this and we’ve set ourselves our own target of raising a minimum of £3,000. I’d personally like to thank everyone now in advance for their support.”