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Teamwork

I stopped along the way to speak to Caledonian Challenge veteran Sandy ‘Eyecandy’ Borland. Sandy has completed the Challenge twice, took part as a marshal last year, and this year, he’s been supporting team Dunn Four.

He said: ‘I’ve seen it all… checkpoint four is where people are starting to unravel because they’re so tired. There are blisters and few toenails dropping off, it’s not pretty. The best part of the walk though is seeing the look on people’s faces as they cross the finish line. It’s magic.’

As team support, Sandy makes sure his walkers have everything they need to complete the walk. That varies from dry clothes, to plasters, and of course food. They also monitor how there walkers are, if someone feels confused or cold, it could be a sign of something more serious, so the health of the walkers is of paramount importance to the support teams.

Sheila is one of Sandy’s walkers, when I spoke to her, she’d walked the first two sections of the walk. She said: ‘This is the fourth time I’ve done the Caledonian Challenge. You have to dig deep to complete it, but it gives you a great sense of achievement.

‘The best bit is the checkpoints, it’s the only time I get waited on hand and foot. The only thing is, Sandy makes me walk 12 miles first!’

Dunn Four is an RBS team. RBS are the title sponsor of the event, and nearly a third of the teams that take part, are made up off RBS employees. Paula Wightman has been involved with the Challenge, through RBS, for four years. She helped to spread the word about RBS’ involvement with the walk to employees. She said: ‘There were so many people who wanted to take part in the Challenge from RBS in London, but it can be expensive for whole teams to travel up, so the bank started to offer sponsorship to allow people to take part.

‘We are inundated with requests for teams,’ she continued. ‘Now we also recruit staff to volunteer at the event.’

One such volunteer is Melanie Simons who travelled up from London to take part. She said: ‘This is my first time as a volunteer, and my first time in the Highlands. Even when you’re driving on the main road in a 4x4, the surrounding look hard and rugged. It’s an impressive landscape.’

Okay, I’m off to the final stop to greet the walkers as they come over the finish line… Crack open the champagne!

Posted by Nadine on 15/06/08 08:36


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The RBS Caledonian Challenge
 

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