Four friends dubbed ‘Team Bonkers’ raise £4,500 from gruelling walking challenge

Mary Evans, Lucie Riches, Jane Ballard and Leigh Sage before setting off from Plimpton College on the final leg of the 100 kilometre Brighton to London Challenge, which included scaling Ditching Beacon, 600 feet above sea level, in the background ANL-151206-105145001
Mary Evans, Lucie Riches, Jane Ballard and Leigh Sage before setting off from Plimpton College on the final leg of the 100 kilometre Brighton to London Challenge, which included scaling Ditching Beacon, 600 feet above sea level, in the background ANL-151206-105145001
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Four friends who dubbed themselves ‘Team Bonkers’ have raised nearly £4,500 and counting after completing the London to Brighton 100km Challenge.

Jane Ballard, Mary Evans, Lucie Riches and Leigh Sage, who all live in and around Stansfield, took 31 hours to walk the 62 mile route in aid of three charities.

Lucie raised funds for Sarcoma UK; Jane, manager of West Suffolk Citizens Advice Bureau for CAB while Mary and Leigh supported St Nicholas Hospice Care.

Mary, Suffolk County Cllr for Clare, said: “When Lucie first suggested the walk it did seem like a bonkers and an impossible challenge.

“Lucy, Leigh and I all walk our dogs each day and Jane and Leigh have done the Coast to Coast and Stour Valley walks but this was so very much tougher with more hills than Suffolk, no sleep, difficult country tracks to negotiate during the night stages and countless really high stiles to clamber over.”

Team leader Lucie added: “It was a real struggle at times but we all helped each other to keep going. It was a great feeling to walk together as a team across the finish line. We gave ourselves the official name of Stansfield Striders but as the enormity of the task dawned upon us we soon took on the nickname of Team Bonkers.”

They thanked family and friends for their support.