(Angus and Patrick ready to set off at the start of their challenge!)

On Saturday the 11th August The Cure Parkinson’s Trust (CPT) supporter Patrick Farrelly along with his youngest son Angus took on the Wye Valley Challenge to raise awareness and funds for CPT’s research into a cure for Parkinson’s.

Hiking the 50km route along the stunning Ross-on-Wye riverside Patrick and Angus covered the distance in 10hrs and 45 mins, conquering 2730 feet of ascent and 2648 feet of descent most of which they encountered in the first 10 miles of the challenge! Here is Patrick's story:

“After torrential overnight rain, Saturday 11th August dawned clear and sunny as some 900 walkers, joggers and runners assembled just outside Chepstow for the first ever Wye Valley Challenge. This was a 100km, 50km or 25km route following the River Wye to Hereford, or Ross-on-Wye if doing the 50km section. As we were short on time my son, Angus and I decided to take on the 50km walk in as short a time as we could. We decided to called ourselves 'The Wobbly Walkers' and were ready for the off.

My wife, Sarah, who has Parkinson’s, along with a very long standing friend acted as our support crew. Angus and I managed to insert ourselves towards the front of the 7.30am start group of around 200 people and set off.

Taking part in these challenges is a sociable affair, especially if walking, and everyone chats and helps each other. We first met up and walked with, a Spanish man living and working in Monchengladbach, Germany, who was going the whole 100km. High above the river we had a magnificent view down to Tintern Abbey. We passed others and soon caught up with the tail-enders of the 7.00am start.

The first 10 miles were hard going with some long steep climbs. We met Sarah and Nic briefly at Bigsweir Bridge then pushed on to the lunch stop at Monmouth. By then we had met up with a young nurse from London who was doing the whole 100km by herself. She was feeling a bit down so we walked with her for the remainder of the first half. By coincidence she was walking in support of Parkinson’s as well. Passing well-known Symonds Yat our stream of walkers engendered some strange looks but also encouragement from the many holiday makers enjoying the sunshine on the river and outside the pubs there – oh how tempting!

The rain came with 11 miles to go but it was too warm for waterproofs so we “enjoyed” a continuous wetting as we literally meandered our way along the river towards our finish at Ross-on-Wye where Sarah, and a large meal, was awaiting for us. I had set myself a target of completing the 50km between 10-11 hours; in fact the distance was 55km and we completed it in 10hrs 45 mins, averaging 3.6mph with a total gain of height of 2400ft!

Angus and I vowed never to do another action challenge event, having now completed two 50km and one overnight 100km; but I have just noticed that next July they are putting on The Peak District Challenge from Bakewell. Despite what my wife Sarah may say (“but you will be nearly 70!”), I am planning on doing it, again for CPT; anyone care to join me?”

CPT would like to say a huge thank you to Patrick and Angus for their continued support and brilliant fundraising efforts! If you would like to read more of Patrick’s story or support his fundraising please visit his fundraising page.

Patrick, Angus and Sarah

Crossing the Ross-on-Wye River and enjoying the stunning countryside views 

Well done Patrick and Angus - proudly sporting their Wye Valley Challenge medals!

If you feel inspired and would like to organise your own walking challenge for CPT please contact George to discuss ideas and find out how we can support you.