THE Examiner Charity Challenge certainly lived up to its named as hundreds braved wind, rain, hail ... and sun.
Just over 400 people took part in the popular event in Meltham, walking or cycling to raise tens of thousands of pounds for dozens of charities.
And they seemed to enjoy everything the weather had to throw at them.
Marsh couple Darrell and Caroline Sharp did the 16-mile mountain bike course up through the Wessenden Valley to raise money for the British Heart Foundation after one of Darrell’s friends had undergone a heart transplant.
Caroline, 44, has only been mountain biking a month and 43-year-old Darrell had only recently returned to it after a break of several years.
“We saw there was a mountain bike course in the Challenge and thought why not?’’ said Darrell. “It was hard work in the rain, but that’s why they call it a challenge I suppose.’’
Caroline added: “It proved I can walk up hills quite quickly pushing a bike!”
Friends Peter Widdop, 47, of Meltham, and Mark Wallis, 49, of Honley, did the gruelling 22-mile road bike ride that took a moorland route into Diggle and had completed it in 2 hours 15 minutes.
Peter said: “The wind was so powerful as we were riding past the golf course in Marsden the wind blew against us, bringing us virtually to a halt no matter how hard we peddled.’’
Mark added: “Funny thing was, we never felt to have the wind behind us to help us on our way.’’
Eric Delmont, who led the Nordic walkers on their four-mile route said: “It was fantastic. We loved it as we got rain, mud, sun and hail.’’
Among the four-mile walkers were relatives Andrea Pinder, of Bradley; Lorna Bent, of Fartown and Peter Nash, also of Fartown, who walked for Huddersfield Cancer Support.
“The hailstones may have been stinging, but we felt invigorated afterwards,’’ said Andrea.
Lorna added: “We chose this charity because we have relatives who have been helped by it.’’
Children were more than up for the challenge.
Five-year-old Jasmine Hockin, of Linthwaite, said: “The best bit was splashing in the puddles.’’
The one-mile wheelchair and pushchair route was held in Beaumont Park.
Seven people from Beechwood Cheshire Home in Edgerton did the route to raise money towards the home’s minibus appeal. They were Tim Owen, Andrew Walker, Leila Bentley, Roger Haigh, Peter Roberts, Christine Schofield and Barbara Williams.
Blind Huddersfield man Roy Waite raised money for Huddersfield Riding For The Disabled.
“That was easy,’’ he said. “Let’s do it again!’’
The oldest walker is thought to have been 89-year-old Evelyn Taylor who did the walk with her disabled daughter, Susan. Together they are supporting four charities – the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Holly Bank School, Kirkwood Hospice and the Starlight children’s charity.
All the events set off from Meltham Sports And Community Centre in Meltham, except for the wheelchair and pushchair event which was staged at Beaumont Park.
The events were organised by four Lions clubs – Huddersfield, Colne Valley, Holmfirth and Meltham and Denby Dale and District.
Jane Armitage from Huddersfield Lions said: “Everyone seems to have enjoyed it despite the strong winds and hail. Some signs blew down but everyone found their way back.’’
One lucky entrant will have scooped an extra £100 for their charity simply by drinking water. All the water bottles handed out by Examiner senior marketing executive Natasha Maskery have a lucky number on them and the winner is number 188.
Contact Natasha on 01484 437772.
The names of all those who took part in the challenge will be in tomorrow’s Examiner.