On 28-30 July 2017, over 1,500 people across 399 teams attempted the Trailwalker challenge across the South Downs.
Originally formed as a Gurkha training exercise in the 1980s, over the past 20 years Trailwalker has become a fundraising challenge phenomenon open to the public. Organised in partnership with Oxfam GB and The Queen’s Gurkha Signals, it is the ultimate in long distance challenges. Participants must trek, in teams of four, 100km in under 30 hours, finishing at the historic Brighton Racecourse for a well deserved beer and a Gurkha curry.
Heavy rain on the Friday night meant a very muddy start for teams on Saturday morning. The bad weather continued throughout the day, making the challenge an even more daunting task. However, that didn’t stop the troops giving it their best shot.
The 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles were the first to cross the finish line in an incredible 10 hours and 51 minutes. They beat their time of 11 hours and 4 minutes from last year, making them the reigning champions of the event for the third year in a row.
‘Proper Old Boys’
One of this year’s most outstanding teams were The Pukka Burhos, which means ‘Proper Old Boys’ in Nepali. Chris (71), John (69), Richard (78) and Paul (79) all took on the challenge this year, three of them for the second time. With an average age of 74, they made it in a phenomenal time of 28 hours 59 minutes and raised over £4,000 for The Gurkha Welfare Trust and Oxfam GB.
At the finish line, Chris said:
“Every British Officer who works with Gurkhas grows to love them for their loyalty, their cheerfulness, their hard work.”
Having served alongside Gurkhas for so many years, we all wanted to give something back to veterans who have so little back in Nepal, especially since the earthquakes in 2015.
See you at Trailwalker 2018 next year?
Thanks to the funds raised by the extraordinary people who took on Trailwalker and other challenges this year, we’re able to provide vital aid to Gurkha veterans, their families and communities in Nepal.