Biggest ever Southern 50
A record number of 400 walkers tackled the Southern 50 challenge on Saturday 16 February. The annual event, which has been running for over 30 years, involves navigating a route through the Chiltern Hills in under 24 hours.
100 teams from 17 different Counties tested their orienteering skills in the challenge. Teams of four navigated their way around one of three routes – of 50 miles, 50km or 30km.
The joint winners of the 30km event, which is for Explorer Scouts only, were Highgate & Hornsey ESU and The Spartans from Harrow ESU. The 50km event saw the Greater London North County mountaineering team gaining victory whilst runners-up Phoenix Flyers Too from 201st Islington collected awards for the fastest team aged under 25 and fastest mixed team.
Doddering Old Starts from 1st Chesham Bois forged ahead in the closing stages to finish the 50 mile event in just 12 hours 30 minutes.
The challenge was particularly poignant for five close friends who walked in memory of ‘Charlie’ Davis, an Explorer Scout who took part in last year’s Southern 50 and recently died in a tragic accident at a level crossing.
A comment on Facebook from a debut team summed up feelings about the event: 'We really enjoyed ourselves throughout the whole weekend. Everyone’s helpfulness and friendliness was really great. The Southern 50 definitely embodies what Scouting is all about. You’ll definitely see us back again next year!'
Find out more about Southern 50 at www.scouts-gln-southern50.org.uk/