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Lubrizol married couple step it up with 55-mile charity walking challenge in under 24 hours


A married couple who work at the same Derbyshire science company have completed a remarkable 55-mile non-stop charity walking challenge.

Tim and Claire Hollingshurst, who both work at the Derbyshire headquarters of science company Lubrizol, took just under 24 hours to walk the whole of the Heritage Way which follows the River Derwent from Ladybower Reservoir all the way to its mouth at Shardlow.

No strangers to charity challenges, the couple said the experience which they undertook on June 3 and 4 was extremely tough but they were kept going by support from many colleagues who joined them en route, even at night, providing company, cups of tea and toasties to keep them going!

Tim and Claire Hollingshurst, exhausted, at the end of their walk in Shardlow.

In the past the couple have run 1,000 miles in a year in aid of Mind; completed 10,000 sit-ups and press-ups in a year, taken on the Yorkshire Three Peaks and Tough Mudder events, as well as running, walking and cycling the equivalent distance between John O’Groats and Land’s End.

But both said walking the whole of the Heritage Way non-stop was their toughest challenge yet.

Tim said: “This was the hardest challenge I have personally faced. It pushed me both physically and emotionally, I cried a lot towards the end!”

“The scenery was spectacular but it was extremely tough. There were lots of different terrains to navigate and carrying enough food and water was hard too,” said Claire.

She said the charity walking challenge had become particularly difficult when it got dark as they walked from Belper to Little Eaton – still 14 miles from their final destination.

She said: “This was a tough section. It was the first one we did completely in the dark and we didn’t fully know the way. A lot of it was through fields and narrow paths. The sections at the end, nine and ten of the walk, were also tough. The blisters had appeared by then! It was cold in the morning. We didn’t know the route as well as the other sections and we were tired. We didn’t have anyone come along at this point so we had to motivate each other to keep shuffling!”

Tim and Claire, who were doing the walk in aid of St John Ambulance – the charity adopted by Lubrizol this year – started off at Ladybower Reservoir at 8.30am and said the beautiful Derbyshire scenery and weather had helped get them off to a great start.

Accompanied by colleague Rich Trevatt for a whopping 32 miles – before he sadly had to retire with a knee injury – they were an eye-catching sight with St John Ambulance balloons on their packs.

Claire said: “When others came to join us and motivate us along it really helped. Especially when they brought cups of tea and homemade shortbread or cheese toasties at 3am!”

“The support from others really motivated me and kept me going,” added Tim. “I don’t think I could have finished without people joining us and spurring us on. I was so appreciative of them all.”

To keep them going over the 55 miles, the couple ate pasta the night before their walk, and had a bowl of porridge on the morning. They made trail mix and were kept fuelled with wholemeal sandwiches, protein bars, Babybel cheese, malt loaf, flap jacks, apples, fruit pastilles and lots of water.

The Hollingshursts said they were utterly exhausted by their walk but would recommend others take on the Heritage Way over a three to five day period as suggested by the guide book produced by the Derwent Valley Trust – enabling walkers to enjoy Derbyshire’s scenery at a leisurely pace, along with pub lunches along the route!

Charlotte Guiver, director of fundraising at St John Ambulance said: “We’re so grateful for the incredible fundraising efforts of the Lubrizol team. The money they have raised will make it possible for our volunteers to continue their lifesaving work in communities across the country. 

Tim and Claire Hollingshurst along with colleague Rich Trevatt raised £1875 with their epic walk.

This story was written and shared on behalf of Lubrizol by Lucy Stephens. Can we share your news and get you in the headlines too? Find out how we can help by getting in touch. 

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