Essex RAYNET Walk for Life 2015

RAYNET LogoOn Sunday the 10th of May 2015, hundreds of walkers turned out to “Walk for Life” and raise money for Farleigh Hospice. Over 850 walkers took part, raising an estimated £73,000 in pledges.

Supporting this event with radio communications, was the team from Essex RAYNET. The team had two walks to cover – a 23km walk from Heybridge and a 10km walk from Paper Mill Lock.

Around 15 members of the Essex RAYNET team were active on the day, some with very early starts setting up the control centre at the finish line in Chelmsford, the portable repeater and the various checkpoints.

Here, you’ll find a few photos from the day, captured by the camera of Pete M0PSX, who was one of the three “sweeps”, charged with keeping an eye on the tail-end of the walk.

Control point for Essex RAYNET at the 2015 Farleigh Hospice Walk For Life
Control point for Essex RAYNET at the 2015 Farleigh Hospice Walk For Life

The main control point was located at the event finish line at E2V in Chelmsford. The newly-equipped control van kept track of the teams locations using APRS, and also made use of DMR, VHF and UHF for the event’s comms.

Farleigh Hospice Walk For Life - Essex RAYNET control van
Farleigh Hospice Walk For Life – Essex RAYNET control van with Gareth 2E0PSN and Dave G0DEC

Start point for the longer of the two walks was at Heybridge Basin. Pete’s duties started at checkpoint 2 with Phil G4RPF completing his leg of the sweep and, Olympic-style, passing the APRS beacon baton to Pete. Here are some of the Essex RAYNET team at CP2 completing the handover:

Essex RAYNET team at Checkpoint 2 - May 2015
Essex RAYNET team at Checkpoint 2 – May 2015

Pete M0PSX and Nick 2E0DVX picked up the pace and made their way to Checkpoint 3 a few miles on, where many walkers had stopped for lunch – a good excuse for the team to take a break too.

John M5AJB, Nick 2E0DVX and Pete M0PSX, taking a break at Checkpoint 3
John M5AJB, Nick 2E0DVX and Pete M0PSX, taking a break at Checkpoint 3

Mid-way between checkpoints, we met Paul M0LOM, who was on duty at a road crossing. One of the ‘joys’ of walking the sweep, is that everyone’s pleased to see you, as it marks “home time” for checkpoint staff as well as Farleigh volunteer marshals.

Paul M0LOM at the Little Baddow Mill road bridge with Pete M0PSX
Paul M0LOM at the Little Baddow Mill road bridge with Pete M0PSX

Finally reaching the fourth checkpoint, the APRS beacon was passed to James 2E1GUA, who completed the final leg of the sweep ‘bike mobile’.

James 2E1GUA and Mark 2E0RMT at Checkpoint 4
James 2E1GUA and Mark 2E0RMT at Checkpoint 4

Whilst Nick and I made out way back to Control, the event continued, and was a succewss both for Farleigh Hospice and for the Essex RAYNET team

Essex RAYNET - Control for Farleigh Hospice Walk For Life 2015
Essex RAYNET – Control for Farleigh Hospice Walk For Life 2015

Well done to all involved with the Walk for Life: Farleigh Hospice helpers, Essex RAYNET, the event organisers, and of course, the walkers.

If you’d be interested in putting your radio skills to good use to help the community, consider finding out more about Essex RAYNET and helping out at a future event – it;s very rewarding, and great training for those with an interest in helping out with emergency comms should the need arise. More details at www.essexraynet.org.uk

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