Maths teacher counts steps on 100km charity hike

THE head of maths at Gordon’s School in West End walked 100 kilometres – 62 miles – across the South Downs to raise money for Oxfam Great Britain and The Gurkha Welfare Trust.

Mark Eaden and his friends from Woking Tennis Club made up the Scandies team, named by the Swede who registered them for the Trailwalker 2021 event.

Mark Eaden (first right) and the Scandies team on their South Downs trek

They set off at 8am on Saturday from Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire, arriving in Brighton for Sunday lunch.

The trek originated in Hong Kong as a military training exercise organised by the Queen’s Gurkha Signals to test the endurance and teamwork of soldiers.

It was opened to civilians in 1986 and since the move of the Queen’s Gurkha Signals to the UK has taken place on the South Downs.

Mark said taking on the challenge was “a bit of a lockdown idea”.

“I’d done 40 kilometres in training but it was the unknown aspect, the rest of the 100K and walking through the night,” he added.

“The last 10 kilometres were really tough. Up until then I was feeling surprisingly good. Luckily, we had the perfect weather, a bit of rain on the Saturday but it wasn’t cold during the night.

“Team spirit kept us going and we had a support crew from Woking Tennis Club who met us at most of the checkpoints and kept us going with snacks.”

They completed the trek in just under 29 hours.

The Scandies team have already raised more than £3,000 for the charities and donations can be made on Mark’s JustGiving page. Visit the website and search for Mark Eaden.

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