SATURDAY, MAY 5: Around 2,600 people today took part in the 25thannual End-to-End Walk – a record for the event.
And it’s expected that hundreds of thousands of dollars will be raised for seven charities working across the island.
End-to-End board member Stephen Davidson said: “It’s a record without doubt and several hundred more than last year.
“It’s difficult to know exactly how much has been raised because the lion’s share of the pledges will come in in the next week or so and there are corporate matching programmes too.
“But we’re pretty confident we are going to hit our targets and fund the various charities with significant sums.
“It’s been a huge success given the gloom surrounding the economy – we were being pretty cautious at the outset, but early, a momentum kicked in which was very exciting.”
Two cyclists had already travelled 3,500 miles before they even started the 26 mile trek from the east to the west of the island.
English visitors Joe Hadfield and Guy Collender timed a trip to see friends on the island so they could do the silver jubilee event.
And the two made it even more difficult for themselves by dressing as movie hit characters Dumb and Dumber rather than opting for cycling gear – and using ageing borrowed bikes.
Mr Hadfield, a senior accounts manager from Southampton, said: “We were determined to the End to End, so we timed our visit for it.
“It was a cracking day out – fantastic. We’ve raised quite a lot of money as a team for the charities, so it’s been very successful.
“Bermuda is absolutely idyllic. The views were spectacular – some of the hills were quite difficult to climb, but the people watching and cheering us on made it bearable. It was well worth the effort and expense of the trip.”
Mr Hadfield and friend Mr Collender, a communications manager at the University of London, signed up for a cycling team for the event.
Mr Collender said: “We had a great day, great weather and a lot of support from people. And there were a few drinks stops along the way as well. It was a perfect day and we’re glad we’re helping Bermuda charities.”
The cash raised from the event this year will go to Age Concern, the Adult Education Centre, Big Brothers and Sisters, Open Airways, the Family Centre, St John’s Ambulance Service and YouthNet.
The End to End has raised around $4 million over the years – and this year is thought to have attracted a record number of entrants.
Warwick Academy, celebrating its 350th anniversary, fielded a massive team of nearly 200 who pledged to complete the gruelling walk from St George’s to Dockyard.
The school led the academic table for pledges with a total of nearly $7,700 pledged. The top business team was First Atlantic Commerce, which has a tradition of taking part in fancy dress. The cycling team had more than $13,600 in pledges by Friday.
The Warwick Academy bear mascot also walked the course as part of its bid to complete 350km in walks to mark the anniversary of the school.
Mr Davidson said he was not aware of any major injuries or incidents, although a number of people were treated for the effects of dehydration by St John’s Ambulance crews along the route.