Our Great Wall of China Trek is a fantastic charity challenge, involving a five day hike along this magnificent man-made structure. Julie tells us about her experience and why she decided to fundraise for Ovarian Cancer Action
"In November 2016, my very dear friend Helen Hogg asked me if I would be interested in a fundraising challenge to trek the Great Wall of China in aid of Ovarian Cancer Action. She has been free from ovarian cancer for ten years and wanted to celebrate this by raising money for the charity’s vital research and awareness work.
I immediately said yes and felt very honoured to take on this challenge alongside Helen. She is a real inspiration and one of the lucky ones to survive.
After eleven months of planning, fundraising and training I finally completed my Great Wall of China trek challenge in aid of Ovarian Cancer Action during October half-term. And what an unbelievable experience it was!
There were 42 of us on the challenge, which raised over £100,000 for numerous charities. The ages ranged from 23 to 60 (me being classed as one of the ‘oldies’), with the women vastly outnumbering the two men!
"My fundraising currently stands at £5,000 which is truly amazing knowing my target was £2,800"Julie Satchwell
We trekked consecutively for five days. This included two days on the tourist stretches of the Great Wall: Huangyaguan and Mutianyu, culminating with the ascent of the 'Heavenly Ladder' and 1,000 steps to the Wall - and then a toboggan back down! We then had three long, tough trekking days along original parts of the Wall that linked three famous sections (Gubeikou-Jinshanling-Simatei). The Wall stretched miles into the distance, where we saw ruined watchtowers, collapsed parts of the Wall and dirt tracks. One day we covered 27 watchtowers over the old brick-made steps. The terrain was varied, from smooth flat sections to rugged, rocky old sections which included some extremely steep climbs with sheer drops on either side. Not very good for those who suffer from vertigo….
The trek also took us on some of the most beautiful parts of the Great Wall, along mountain ridges which gave a real flavour of the enormity of the task undertaken in building this incredible structure. We encountered lots of steps, with countless ascents and descents as we trekked along the Wall. However, the vista of the Great Wall disappearing over the mountains is a truly memorable sight. A sight that made every step worthwhile and will stay with me forever.
This challenge for Ovarian Cancer Action has given me wonderful memories to cherish for a lifetime. I can honestly say it was the best thing I have ever experienced in my whole life (apart from having my son!).
However, this challenge wouldn't have been possible without the support and generosity of my family, friends, staff and parents at Princethorpe College.
My fundraising currently stands at £5,000 which is truly amazing knowing my target was £2,800. I’m really pleased to know that this money will go towards funding research that saves lives. It also campaigns to ensure women and healthcare providers know the risk factors, symptoms and treatment options to enable informed and rapid action."
Fancy getting fit and taking on the challenge of a lifetime, while raising money for a great cause? Find out more about our different Challenge Events.