Pupils from Bournemouth School completed a 30 miler in 6 hours 31 minutes in support of the John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation.
The inspiration came from their teacher Kevin Lindsay whose brother is a serving Major in the Royal Marines and the JTYAF was a natural charity to support. In preparation of this event, Ben Nicholas set up a Just Giving page with a target of raising £500 and along with the other Sixth Formers - Elliot Rogers, Ollie Turner, Oliver Griffiths, Jordan Young and Charles Jones presented a whole school assembly to promote the event; talk about JT and the foundation which was well received.
The team set off from the Hiker Café car park at Hengistbury Head, Christchurch, Dorset at 0650 hrs on Sunday the 12th April. They figured this would provide sufficient time for them to complete the first 9 ½ miles to the Sandbanks chain ferry and hop straight on. We were well supported by parents on our way around, Dr Rachel Lachlan and Mrs Claire Whitehead who some of you will remember as Director of Music at FUS, before her appointment at Bournemouth School. They all kindly got up early and RV’d with us at given points along the way, the chain ferry being the first.
They decided before the challenge that the 11 miles around the Purbecks would be hiked and tabbed where possible. Having hopped across the ferry the group made their way along the beach to the NT Knoll beach car park for their second stop.
A short time later the group reached the 13 mile point and found time for a quick photo at Old Harry’s Rocks. Onward and upward they continued on past the Pinnacles up onto the ridge along to the Obelisk. After a quick run down, across the road and up over the golf course, the group had their third RV. Now over half way, the group threaded their way down to Agglestone Rock. Unbeknown to them at the time, this was one of John’s a favourite places. They provided Mr Lindsay with a heart-in-mouth moment, all appearing on the top of the rock after just a few moments!
A great photo opportunity though!
After this interlude, they pushed on across the heath to the road and a straight speed march back to the ferry. Some of the boys’ parents were a welcome sight as we got off the ferry at the Haven Hotel and provided a last round of tea and cakes before the last 9 ½ push back to Hengistbury Head. By now the Bournemouth Bay run was finished and all cleared away, but the group were still going. The sea front was now very busy and it was heavier work on this section. Once past Boscombe Pier, it thinned out a bit for a straight run in to the finish.
At the end it was all rather unceremonious and everyone was keen to head off for some R & R. It was a great day; the weather was kind, but it was hard work. The boys were truly magnificent and Mr Lindsay said he was hugely proud of them all. The main objective was met - to raise money for the foundation but with all the lads having either Royal Marine or Royal Engineer aspiration they now have a significant achievement accomplished, which will hopefully enhance the platform from which to move forward with their applications.
The boys are currently on examination leave but plan to do a further presentation at school. We also look forward to Pete coming into Bournemouth School to tell us more about John and the foundation.
Check out the rest of the photos in the album.