Good causes were the winner on Sunday as participants in the Rotary Maidenhead Boundary Walk raised almost £4,500 for 23 different charities.
Despite poor weather first thing, more than 340 walkers of all ages signed up for the annual sponsored walk. Among them was Zahra Baharmal who completed two circuits of the 13-mile route after losing out on a place in the London Marathon, held the same day.
Zahra, who works for tax accountants Craufurd Hale in Crown Lane, raised £1,605 for her chosen charity, Breast Cancer Now.
The Boundary Walk is based on the tradition of ‘beating the bounds’, a circuit of the boundary of the old Maidenhead borough which dates back to when the town was granted its charter in 1582.
It is organised jointly by the Rotary Club of Maidenhead and Rotary Club of Maidenhead Bridge which deployed scores of volunteers to man checkpoints and marshall road crossings along the route, which started and ended in Boulters Lock Car Park in Lower Cookham Road.
While most participants completed the traditional route around the town, others followed a 5km family route introduced to make sure the Boundary Walk is open to everyone.
Many walkers brought along their four-legged friends, while other groups crossed the generations.
Richard Poad, former chairman of Maidenhead Heritage Centre, completed the walk with his grandson Fred Brittan, raising several hundred pounds for the centre. The youngest walker, aged just five years old, was part of a group from a Cookham school PTA raising money for school funds.
The highest single amount of sponsorship was £2,104, raised by a group of walkers led by Rotarian Gurdip Bahra in aid of the Makindhu Dental Project, which provides vital dentistry to a rural community in Kenya.
Event organiser Eddie Piekut said: “In light of the very poor weather forecast the turn-out was respectable but a bit lower than previous years. The day turned out to be perfect walking weather, allowing for a decent amount to be raised for charity.
“I was proud when walkers said the day was a well-organised and fun event. It was great to see the town’s Rotary Clubs coming together, as well the Civic Society, and the East Berks Ramblers who assisted on specific parts of the route.”
Eddie continued: “Apart from Gurdip’s herculean efforts it’s also great to be able to provide organisations like People to Places and the Magpie Foundation with a mechanism to have fun and raise cash. The next objective will be to raise the profile of the Boundary walk route as year-round amenity for all the people of our town.”
Maidenhead MP Theresa May once again joined walkers for the start of the walk, along with Royal Borough Mayor, Cllr Christine Bateson, and Rotary district governor Marius Hopely.
Mrs May said: “The Boundary Walk is a win-win. People get out into the countryside for a great walk in the fresh air, but they also raise money for some great causes. I am very impressed that so many came out with the early stage of the day being wet and not looking very promising.”
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