The history of our challenge walks in words and pictures
Up to date financial details and other information about our fundraising activities
Annual financial details of the totals raised from our Walkers and Corporate Sponsors
Information about The Three Peaks Challenge Walk and the surrounding countryside
Information about The Chatsworth Challenge Walk, and the Chatsworth area.
Preparation, Hints & Tips
Handy tips and sound advice for tackling those demanding challenge walks
Some interesting features associated with our walks
Information about us and why we raise the sponsored funds
All the other bits we couldn’t fit in anywhere else
Celebrating 10 Years of Sponsored Fundraising
2003 to 2013
chatsworthchallenge.com and threepeakschallenge.com are organisers of sponsored challenge walks to raise money for the Dave Owens and Frank Goodall Memorial Fund in support of nominated charities to fund cancer research, prevention, and treatment.
2011 marked our ninth challenge walk, and the fifth Chatsworth Challenge, following on from our earlier years on the significantly more demanding three peaks of the Yorkshire Dales.
The twin distance feature of the Chatsworth Challenge provides an opportunity for walkers of all age groups and walking abilities to take part, whereas the three peaks challenge is a significantly more demanding event. Because of this we may have said our final goodbye to the famous three peaks.
Mark Evans and David Williams who were both making their Chatsworth Challenge debut, and who completed the 22 mile walk in a marvelous 6 hours and 40 minutes.
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However, for 2011, the ‘family and friends’ were in evidence this year, and as ever enjoyed the event. The previous year we had broken through the magical £100,000 fundraising barrier, and as we always do in the days leading up to the walk, we hoped for good weather for our sponsored volunteers.
Here;s the Met Office bit... Saturday 25th June started out as a grey day with some scattering of light showers in the Derbyshire peak district. These subsided in the late afternoon (just after the final walkers arrived back to the final checkpoint), and temperatures continued to rise as the day became brighter, eventually leading into the hottest weekend of the year with the following Sunday bathing in scorching sun. It was fortunate for the walkers that these soaring temperatures didn’t arrive on the Saturday otherwise heat
exhaustion would have been a serious concern. On the subject of records, although our walker numbers didn’t match our best turnout, we did beat every record to date for the number of dogs on our walk, with our four legged (non sponsored) walking partners taking a large slice of centre stage.
As usual, the full details of our 22 mile walk are brought to you by our intrepid Chatsworth Challenge field reporter Gerard Mitchell, and to accompany him on this page we are proud this year to welcome Mark Spittle as our guest writer for the 9 mile walk. Mark is a colleague of Gerard at Yorkshire Building Services Ltd. who have been ever present supporters of the Dave Owens and Frank Goodall Fund since it’s inception in 2003. He and Gerard have taken time out from their busy schedule of providing services for buildings in Yorkshire (and other parts of the country) to bring you their accounts of the day in the Chatsworth countryside. (PL)
5. Clare Mitchell, proud winner of the ‘Cheesiest Grin’ competition, poses with Martin and Phil.
1. The 06.00 hrs start for The ‘22 Milers’
As you can see from the abundance of weather-proof clothing the 22 mile walk started at 06-00 hrs in what has become the customary wet start to the day. With only seventeen walkers coming under orders this is the smallest field to take on the 22 mile challenge since records began 5 years ago. As the 9 mile walk had 38 human starters plus a whole host of canine
4. The ‘Britannia Boys’ stop at the Red Lion
3. The customary first checkpoint stop at the Red Lion
1. The 06.00 hrs Start for the 22 Milers
2. Clare and Martin arriving at The Red Lion at Birchover
‘guest’ walkers I can only assume that the lure of the 11-30 start got the better of some people. As always, it is good to see the new faces who now walk the ‘two distance’ Chatsworth Challenge, intermingled with the seasoned veterans of the Three Peaks Challenge.
2. Clare and Martin arriving at the first checkpoint
Considering the spring in Clare and Martin’s step it’s hard to imagine that they are only 20 metres away from the first checkpoint at the Red Lion in Birchover. At 11 miles into the walk they also know they are at the halfway stage. It’s a shame the same can’t be said for the two stragglers bringing up the rear. It looks as though their spring must have already been sprung. (Oh come on Gerard - you’re doing yourself a disservice. You’re not doing that bad at all for a knackered old bugger - Ed). The weather is still looking grey and murky, but at least the rain has stopped by this time.
3. Our walkers take time for a rest at the Birchover checkpoint
It’s now around 09-45 and with the kind permission of the Red Lion landlord our walkers can take a well-earned rest on the front terrace of the pub. Nigel, sporting his trademark baseball cap, is checking the maps to ensure his party make it to the next checkpoint at Beeley without getting lost. Nigel hasn’t missed many of our nine challenge walks. It’s an ideal place to enjoy a sandwich you have brought along yourself, or alternatively a freshly cooked bacon and/or sausage sandwich from the pub’s kitchen. Due to a misunderstanding this year the pub was closed on our arrival, but at least the Village Shop & Deli was open and
profited out of the situation. I can strongly recommend their Huntsman’s Pies if you are ever passing. (At this point, Gerard then goes on to discuss certain issues which were once within the typical literary domain of the late ‘News of The World’. As ever, and consistent with every one of his narratives in the nine years we've been doing this, his text is regrettably subjected to heavy editorial censorship in the interests of common decency. - Ed)
6. The Baslow Dog Show
Here we are, back on the new decking at The Devonshire Arms. It’s all over bar the aching and the localised chaffing for another year. It looks as though we’ve coincided with the Baslow Dog Show; how many dogs are dragging Nigel along here, is it two or three? Well, we counted them all out and we counted them all back and the numbers tallied so it was another enjoyable and successful day. I would again like to thank everyone for giving up their time and I look forward to seeing you when we do it all again next year. (GM)
4. The ‘Britannia Boys at Birchover
It wouldn’t be The Chatsworth Challenge without the Britannia Boys and once again they turned out in numbers. Here we have Steve and John getting themselves prepared for the 2nd leg. However, the identity of the chap with his head and shoulders up inside the folded umbrella remains unknown to this day. Can you shed any light on the mystery man Steve?
5. There’s creatures in them there hills!
There are some strange creatures roaming the hills and forests of Derbyshire these days; those in the field look a bit strange too. Is it just my failing eyes or is the white critter at the back some kind of two legged dinosaur straight out of Jurassic Park? (Well spotted Gerard. It's actually a bipedal herbivorous Theropod from the late Triassic period to the early Jurassic age. Either that, or a llama having a crap! - Ed). Phil has now caught up with Clare and Martin and everyone looks fresh and ready for the 2nd half. I could have just managed one of the free hot showers that were being advertised on a campsite billboard.
6. The Final ‘Home’ checkpoint - The Devonshire Arms at Baslow, where the walkers (and dogs) complete their day after the 22 and 9 mile walks
If you took part in this year’s walk, and want to take the challenge again, OR...
If you’re reading this for the first time, and wish to take part in our annual walk, click on the following links for more details.
A rare work of modern photography.
(click photo for LARGE view)
I believe the photographer was searching to portray an intense relationship of colour and depth when establishing this piece. One simply cannot look at this picture without one’s eye being naturally drawn to the imagery and realism of the work, which effuses the warmth and camaraderie of the fore-ground subject matter, and yet splendidly captures the symmetry and cohesiveness of nature and humanity, perfectly and harmoniously unified within a single theme.
The meticulous straight line of the path on which the subjects are seen is intrinsic forceful imagery which leads from foreground to background, and naturally directs the eye to the far distant detail. This piece of work is simply stunning in its simplistic nature, and arrests the viewer with its subtle but intricate balance of colour and hue, and a delicate degree of understated exposure.
Plus... the lass on second left has a nice arse! (PL)
2011 Walk : Chatsworth Challenge
1. The Start of the 9 Mile Walk at Baslow
As you can see in this group photograph, Stella's done a sterling job organising the nine milers walk. Some participants look like they can’t be
bothered (guess who? Yes... Luke Dyson). Other walkers however have decided to bring along their pets for support, or maybe for some other reason (pulling their owners round the walk perhaps?). Some people may think this is cheating! Even superman turned up, and we understand he got off to a flying start!
2. Drinking at the Beeley Checkpoint
After a steady leisurely walk through the grounds of Chatsworth house and along the river, the halfway point is reached for the nine milers. This checkpoint at the Devonshire arms at Beeley is where the twenty-two milers joined forces to complete the final stretch in this photo. Darren hill is looking very confused for some reason, it may be because Andy Robinson looks like
he has just stepped out of the local nightspot and decided to come for a walk. Andy Kneeshaw looks like he thinks someone has been tampering with his drink, Kev Dyson looks very happy so I think it may have been him. (You don't look totally innocent yourself Mark! - Ed)
1. The 9 Milers at Baslow waiting for the start.
5. It’s a lot easier going downhill Dave!
4. Not a pub in sight. On the way back to Baslow
2. Tony Soprano and the ‘Lager Mafia’ at Beeley
3. Still drinking at Beeley!
3. More drinking at the Beeley Checkpoint
Time for the usual well earned rest at the Devonshire arms. In the background Nigel Smalley (known as Nasty to his friends) is in deep conversation with his wife about the colour of that bag! On a more serious note however, we understand that the person under the car is recovering well in hospital! Looks like no one could be bothered to take care of his bag though which is just left on the road. (Well spotted Mark. Yes, as it turned out the bloke had been mowed over
5. Dave Broadhurst’s dog takes him for a relaxing nine mile walk in the countryside
Some nine-mile walkers charging on towards Baslow. Joe Selby (nice puppies) in the background seems astonished to see the legendary Bigfoot in Derbyshire. Oh no, she's mistaken. It's Dave Broadhurst carrying his oxygen tank on his back. (What is that on his T-Shirt?) He looks a little out of puff for my liking; I think his dog Bracken is slightly fitter than Dave. We could name this picture 'A Picture of Health' or ‘Beauty and the Beast'
MS. (see also Mark’s extra snippet ‘More Stuff About Dog’s and Things’ in the sidebar - Ed)
by a large group of walkers heading for the pub, and had crawled under the car for safety. Readers can send their get well wishes, addressed to 'The Unlucky Bloke Who Was Under The Car' at the Spinal Injuries Unit, Stoke Mandeville Hospital - Ed).
4. Back to Baslow
After leaving the Devonshire arms in Beeley the long hard slog up the hill begins towards Baslow, Phil Hemingway, Graham Fisher, Ann Mitchell & Louise Lavelle look in determined mood and seem to be saying onwards and upwards? Note the stunning views of the Derbyshire landscape behind them
Text : Philip Lynskey : Gerard Mitchell : Mark Spittle
Images : Andrew Ockerby : Dave Broadhurst : Gerard Mitchell :
Janine Mitchell : Julia Maloney : Kev Dyson : Pat Burton : Philip Lynskey
More stuff about dogs and things...
A perfect photo opportunity (click to enlarge)
The walkers take a break for a photo opportunity, which throws up some unusual scenes. Take Johnny Allot the smiling man in the background for instance, sat on top of the cannon. Unknown to the other walkers has he just lit the cannon fuse. I'm not sure what's going through Chris Bradley’s mind (but it looks very rude to me). John Newsome looks to be taking this challenge very seriously.
The black dog has got his eyes on someone’s sandwich, but John looks like he fancies pinching the sandwiches not the dog! The two ladies with the nice puppies look to be enjoying their day out around Chatsworth. (MS)
And at this point Mark's observations of puppies in Chatsworth sadly comes to an end, but our thanks go to 'Spitts' for his valuable contributions to our 2011 web page - Ed
A Little Prestidigitation...
Here we see Stella Mitchell demonstrating her skills of prestidigitation, sleight of hand, and her famous Palm - Ditch - Simulate - Misdirect and Switch routine. A confounded and befuddled Gerard Mitchell watches the trickery whilst setting imaginary rifle-sight cross hairs on the long-eared furry magicians prop. (PL)
The Beeley mid way checkpoint gives our walkers plenty of time to rest, take the back-packs off, and put their feet up for a short while before starting out back on the return leg to Baslow. And there’s always a little time left over to practice your conjuring tricks.
Stella Mitchell mesmerises Gerard with her sleight of hand conjuring tricks at the mid way stop at Beeley checkpoint
From One of Our Charities
Oesophageal Patients Assc.
I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your tremendous donation of £946.61 raised in respect of the sponsored walk around the grounds of Chatsworth estate on June 25th. Please pass on our grateful thanks to everyone involved for kindly donating the proceeds from this fundraising activity.