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Friday 13 June 2008 - Registration Day

Good evening readers, my name�s Nadine and I�m the 2008 RBS Caledonian Challenge blogger. Over the next couple of days, I�m going to follow the progress of the walkers as they tackle the awesome challenge of walking 54 miles along the West Highland Way in just 24 hours!

The journey begins for each team at the Nevis Centre in Fort William. With 1,000 carb rich dinners and 500 litres of water on order, each walker checked in to get their unique walker number and a special chip to track their progress over the walk.

In the massive Nevis Centre gym hall, the atmosphere was buzzing as people talked about the journey ahead of them. Teams (walkers and supporters) made up of family members, colleagues, friends and even some Vikings, listened intently to the safety briefing, while enjoying lashings of pasta, bread and potatoes� slow release energy foods which will give them a kick start for the walk tomorrow.

I�m about to turn in for the night because there�s a long day ahead tomorrow, before I go though, I�ll leave you with some inspirational words from the different people I�ve met today.

Who I�ve met so far�

The Middlewich Marauders
All the way from Manchester, this RBS team came dressed for the occasion as rampaging Vikings. Everything from horned helmets to swords (novelty ones of course), the Marauders put a smile on the faces of their fellow walkers� faces.

The team will be walking in sensible clothes for the majority of the walk, but they�re hoping to cross the finish line in their Nordic get up.

Steve the Viking said: �We�re really looking forward to taking part. There are five of us in the team, three of us are walking and two guys are our support for the walk.

�The most important thing to us is to finish the walk, even if we�re the slowest. We want to finish it together, and we definitely don�t want to be a DNF [did not finish].�

Good luck Vikings. Hope to interview you (horns and all) again at the finish line.

To make the event happen, the event relies on over 500 volunteers for it to run like clockwork. Taking part for the second year is Billy Mitchell, chief marshal.

He said: �This is the second year I�ve taken part. It blew my mind last year being a volunteer, so I had to take part again this year.

�It�s so inspiring to see so many people pushing themselves to the limit to raise money for charity. It�s actually pretty emotional watching people cross the finish line because you can feel their sense of achievement for completing such an awesome task.�

Watch Us Grow
The aim of the Caledonian Challenge is to raise money for the Scottish Community Foundation. Last year, an impressive £1M was raised by the event, and of course we hope to top that this year.

The Scottish Community Foundation is the fourth largest grantmaker in Scotland. Each year, the Foundation awards approximately 700 awards to smaller charities and community groups totalling around £3.5M.

One of the community groups to receive a grant from the money raised by Caledonian Challenge walkers is Watch Us Grow. Watch Us Grow enables people with learning difficulties and mental health issues to develop and learn at their own pace, encouraging the routines expected in employment. When they feel ready, students and volunteers are encouraged to move into supported employment.

To thank the walkers for all the support they�ve received, Watch Us Grow staff and clients made their way north from Cumbernauld to help at resigistration.

Anne, one of the support workers at Watch Us Grow said: �We�re so grateful for the support we�ve had from the Scottish Community Foundation with money raised by the Challenge, we thought we would make the giving go full circle by volunteering to help out at the event. We�re leaving Cumbernauld at 3.30am on Sunday to help out on the final day. We�re really happy to be giving something back.�

Posted by Nadine on 14/06/08 12:19

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