Hundreds turn out for Exmouth Hospiscare Midnight Walk

HUNDREDS of women headed for Exmouth on Saturday to walk through the night in aid of Hospiscare.

More than a thousand women headed for Exmouth to walk through the night on Saturday raising much-needed funds for Hospiscare.

Jennifer Rowland, from Powderham, cut short her holiday in Australia, jetted from the other side of world flew, and fought off jetlag to take part.

The 2010 Hosipscare Midnight Walk attracted 1,200 women keen to do their bit for the charity.

Many taking part completed the eight-mile circular route, in Exmouth, wearing fancy dress.

The walk almost suffered from a sporting injury when the Exeter Chiefs reluctantly had to pull out from fronting the warm-up due to their own success on the field.

Hospiscare events manager Louise Beeken said she nearly fainted with relief when players from the Exmouth Rugby Club, which hosted the night, stepped in.

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Louise said: “On Monday I was sitting at my desk, wondering what on earth to do and then suddenly it was sorted.

“The Exmouth boys were outstanding. We cannot thank them enough for this.”

An army of volunteer marshals helped guide the walkers safely around the eight-mile circuit and for the first time an electronic chipping system was used to check the women in and out.

Exeter FM was also on hand to help with the party mood.

Alison Palfrey, director of fundraising at Hospiscare, said it was hoped the event would match the �100,000 raised last year.

She said: “It is overwhelming to see a key event like this prove such a success. It is a real credit to out staff, our volunteers and most of all to our fantastic walkers.”

Hospiscare chief executive Glynis Atherton and chairman of the trustees Patrick Beasley were both on the finishing line applauding the walkers home. “It was heart-warming and uplifting to see this much support for our charity,” said Glynis.

The first walker to cross the finishing line was Sally Button, from Chagford, in one hour and 47 minutes.

The walkers were treated to a warm-up by the hunks from Exmouth RFC before setting off through the night.

See Thursday's Journal, May 27, for a full report and full-colour photo pull-out.

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