Today over 400 brave people took part in the South Downs Trail Challenge which started and finished at the Country Park. With three route options of 8.5 miles for beginners, 15 miles for those more used to distance walking, and finally a 20 miler for the hard-core athletes to either walk or run.
Registration began at 6.30 am in freezing temperatures and with a light dusting of snow. The event began at 7.30 am and everyone had to be back by 5.00pm. At the end of the day only one competitor failed to return in time and they were located very much the worse for wear in one of the local pubs.
The event was organised by the British Heart Foundation who are regulars at the Country Park.
There are many benefits to joining in such an event aside from the obvious one of fundraising for a good cause. The BHF offer training and fundraising advice, they prepare and sign the route carefully and on the day offer refreshments and medical cover.
From the Park’s point of view this type of set up can fit in very well to an already busy site.

More details about the British Heart Foundation can be found at

The medical cover was provided by Hampshire Search and Rescue who are one of the volunteer lowland search and rescue units who provide round the clock assistance to the police.

They also offer medical cover at events as a way of raising much-needed funds. More information is available at