Charity walk for women

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A group of Donside women are racking up the miles whilst training for a gruelling 54-mile endurance event.

The ‘Donside Quines’ team of Diane Forbes, Sharon Ritchie, Angela Fraser, Carole-Ann Duff, Jackie Coutts and Penny Gillies, will take on the huge challenge to raise money for the Scottish Community Foundation, which supports enterprising and dynamic charities and voluntary groups throughout Scotland.

They are taking part in The Caledonian Challenge, an annual event taking place in June. The six friends, all from Alford and the surrounding area, will be required to walk 54 miles along The West Highland Way. This in itself would be quite a test of stamina, but they have to complete the walk within 24 hours.

Training for the event has already begun, and involves walking long distances over difficult and hilly terrain, to build up strength and speed.

A recent fundraising race night organised by the team was a great success, thanks to the incredible generosity of all who attended and the many local businesses who sponsored races, donated prizes and gave support. The amount raised was around £4,000 which will all go to the Scottish Community Foundation.

“We chose this charity as we all liked the idea that the money we raise will go to local charities within the community,” said Penny. “So far, our training programme has been going well due to the weather and we are fortunate to have Bennachie and local woodland walks on our doorstep.”

The Caledonian Challenge is one of the UK’s top endurance events. Billed as “the walk of your life,” it offers a fantastic opportunity for participants to get fit and forge friendships, as well as raising money for charity.

The course takes participants through some of Scotland’s most famous, remote, rugged and stunningly beautiful landscapes between June 16-17, including Fort William, Kinlochleven and Inveroran.

The cross-country trek is the equivalent of walking two marathons back-to-back, while also climbing up Ben Nevis, twice.

More than 1,000 entrants are expected to take part in the 2012 challenge, raising in excess of £1 million for charity.