Chiltern 20 2023!

Date: 19th Oct 2023 Author: Steve Way

Another Massive and Hugely Successful Chiltern 20

The day dawned bright and a bit chilly for the 41st running of the Chiltern 20 Challenge Hike, perfect walking conditions for the 428 participants who entered for the Saturday event, plus another ten who were taking advantage of our Sunday walk.  It’s ironic that this event has always been regarded as the Southern 50’s little sister, but we are now seeing a higher number of participants in the Chiltern 20.

A total of 89 teams entered the event from across GLN along with friends from GLNE, GLSW, GLMW, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hertfordshire.  Some unexpected issues meant that we were without a website this year and we had to resort to what seemed like as many emails going back and forth than there were steps on one participant’s Fitbit.  This individual kept looking in disbelief at the end as his Fitbit had recorded 34,500 steps.  This was double the amount of steps he’d ever done before in a day.

This year’s route started off at Tring School.  Before the off, all teams received some impressive navigation training provided by the County Activities Unit.  The route led teams through Aldbury and then up on to the ridge, then north to Ivinghoe and back to Tring on mainly tracks and footpaths.  A new plan was added to this year’s event by introducing a 16:00 cut-off time at the Ivinghoe checkpoint.  This had the effect of all teams keeping up a good pace, and they all completed the event in broad daylight by 17:15.  The Eastbourne Scout District First Aid Team, who have looked after us for many years, were on hand at the finish in case of need.  This team of fully trained medical staff watched them all safely complete the event.  Everybody then tucked into a meal, created and served up by members of The Hatters ESU.

So, how did everybody get on?  Well, all teams finished with some fast times recorded.  The winners of the slightly shorter Junior event were one of eight teams from 22nd Southgate in a spectacular time of 02:51, with the Phoenix Flyers Junior team from 201st Islington finishing just one minute later.  Nearly an hour behind was the 3rd placed team from 1st Whittlesford & Duxford, making their debut in this event.  Moving on to the Senior event, the first team which had an adult accompanying them was the 8th Muswell Hill in 05:25 with runners-up 28th Willesden, also debut makers, five minutes behind.  Finally, on to the main event for unaccompanied Senior Teams, the winners were The Phoenix Flyers who flew round in 03-27, with 22nd Southgate hot on their tails some seven minutes later.  3rd position went to 10th Edmonton who finished in 04:14.

What about the Young People?  What were their thoughts?  Here are a few of their quotes:

“I enjoyed being outside all day and having a sense of achievement when I finished”;

“I liked doing the mapwork and seeing the nice views”;

“I liked going up high into the mountains”;

“Being out with my friends was great”;

“Working together as a team”;

“Taking part and not giving up”;

“I loved it – worth every step”.

The event organisers are so very grateful for over 100 Leaders who gave up another day to come along, rain or shine, to support the event.  Whatever their roles, they had a friendly welcoming smile on their face all day and did a fabulous job.

Chris Feakes, our event registrar, is now retiring from his role.  He had been part of the event organising team for the past 41 years, and apart from all his other duties and carrying out hours and hours of work behind the scenes each year, he had created in excess of 10,000 finishing certificates during that time.  At the start of the event presentation, he was awarded with his very own unique personalised framed Chiltern 20 certificate.

Download the Senior results

Download the Junior Results

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls