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Hot weather sees charity Trailwalker trek cancelled

Hot weather sees charity Trailwalker trek cancelled

Trailwalker, the 100km trek organised by Oxfam, the Queens Gurkha Signals and The Gurkha Welfare Trust has been cancelled due to the hot weather.

The annual trek across the South Downs Way was scheduled to take place this weekend, but with temperatures forecast to rise above 27 degrees Celsius, the Army has advised that participants are at risk of heat injury and exhaustion if the event goes ahead as planned. Teams made up of four walkers with a two-person support crew must complete the distance in 30 hours. Alternatives had been explored, including a shorter route and alternative timing, but a viable option could not be found to run the event without a risk to either safety or the logistical operation.

Matt Jerwood, Oxfam Head of Events, Festivals & Regional Engagement said:

“The organisations which run the event have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel Trailwalker 2018 after receiving expert advice from the Army.  The health and well-being of the participants has to be the absolute priority. The expert advice we have been given is the predicted hot temperatures and dry conditions present a real risk to walkers, so of course we must cancel.

“We had hoped the weather might change but specialist forecasting from the Met office, received this morning, made it clear that it is going to be dangerously hot.” 

Entrants will be offered the chance to defer to 2019. Two thousand participants registered to take part in this weekend’s event. They tackle the trek in teams of four, walking alongside the Queens Gurkha Signals who complete the exercise as part of their military training. The event takes one year to plan, with careful coordination of logistics and supplies.

Trailwalker has been held for the past 20 years and the money raised is shared between The Gurkha Welfare Trust and Oxfam.

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.

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