A year ago the headline read “It was the Biggest Chiltern 20…..EVER!” with a record number of 86 teams. Last Saturday’s Chiltern 20 Challenge Hike topped that with 106 teams registered and 400 participants, nearly all from our four Districts across GLN. It was only ten years ago when we were pleased to have between 30 and 40 teams on board.
Participants woke up to challenging weather conditions with the expected rain not letting them down. Setting off from Tring School, the route took the walkers through Albury and the Bridgewater Monument, before looping around the Ashridge Estate and on to the Icknield Way via Little Gaddesden and Ringshall. The participants in the junior event had the luxury of being bussed to the second checkpoint at Aldbury for the start of their event. This checkpoint was a sports hall but it was the size of a large dog kennel, not quite big enough for thirty teams to take shelter before they headed for the hills.
So, how did the teams get on? Having never troubled the leader board before, our good friends from 1st Twickenham led the way home in the Junior event finishing in a highly commendable 4-16. Ten minutes later came the runners-up from 4th Southgate. Completing the frame was 9th Muswell Hill who just edged out 6th Southgate.
The Senior event saw the Phoenix Flyers from 201st Islington triumph again for their 4th top place finish in the past five years. They were the last team to start, and they flew round in 3:24, over an hour quicker than last year’s time. Nine minutes later were 23rd Southgate who were ahead of 6th Friern Barnet and 1st & 3rd New Barnet. Spare a thought to one of the 20th Edmonton teams who enjoyed themselves so much that they were out walking for over 10½ hours.
Everybody seemed to have had a good time and are already looking forward to next year’s event, although the 13 and 14 year olds have got the Southern 50 waiting for them on 15th February 2020.
Yet again, we called upon over 100 adults who spent their entire day volunteering their time to fill the many component parts. Thank you. And we will all be back to do it all over again next year!
The organising committee has received many messages following the event. One leader wrote:
‘I just want to thank your teams for all the hard work, time and energy that you put in to making sure that the Chiltern 20 is such a fantastic event. My memory is not too good these days but I think the first time I took a team to take part was in 1982 – a different era, with a 20 mile route and only 1:50,000 scale maps that sometimes ended up as papier maché! Society, technology and Scouting have all moved on a lot since then, and the Chiltern 20 has more than kept pace with the changes. Having 100 teams out and about on Saturday was a remarkable achievement in terms of organisation, commitment and safety. As a supporter, I was able to drive round and cheer our Scouts on at the various checkpoints, and it was great to see the spectrum of different teams, from those not long up from Cubs, a little unsure of themselves but accompanied by a leader to boost their confidence, to those nearly ready for Explorers, with some skilled navigators who were “on a mission” to prove themselves. It reflected just how Scouts develop from children to young adults, learning about themselves and how to work with others along the way. Real skills for life.’
We now look forward to next year’s event which will be The Chiltern 20 2020. There is a prize up for grabs to the person who can come up with a one-off logo or badge for this event.
Finally, sitting at home waiting for their owners is the following list of gear which was left behind: Two black umbrellas, blue Regatta jacket with the name ‘April’ inside, plastic Tesco bag containing green ‘Bounds Green School’ hoodie plus other clothing, two CDs in the name William Ahern, a ‘Mini’ wristwatch with brown strap, head torch, assorted water bottles, assorted gloves, hats and socks. Email Fozzy on email@example.com.
You can download a full breakdown of the results here.
A massive thank you to Ian Lamb for taking amazing photos throughout the event, including the ones shown here.