Bob Vincent’s London2Brighton Challenge

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In March 2017 my world collapsed when I lost my soulmate, Stephen Ridgley, suddenly to Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome.

Since Steve passed away I have had immense support from Bob Vincent and his lovely wife Jacqui. They have both supported me in so many ways, from helping me with the funeral to coming to my house and checking up on me and making me dinners to make sure I was ok.

Bob absolutely astounded me one day when he mentioned this staggering 100k challenge and said he wanted to raise funds for CRY. I was so overwhelmed, not only has he already done so much but opted to endure this massive challenge for us.

On Saturday 26th May 2018, Jacqui, my sister Louise, and my two nieces waived Bob off from the starting point in Richmond Park, London. We had a WhatsApp group going so we could all communicate with Bob and follow his location. Between us we staggered the stops and took turns to greet Bob.

Throughout the whole day I was more and more shocked at how exhausting this challenge must be, every time I sat down I felt so guilty because Bob was still plodding along walking.

I drove down to Crawley to meet Bob at the 56k point. The whole car journey down it really sunk in to how far the walk really is! Arriving at the rest point at 56k I saw masses of people struggling some with serious cuts and blisters and most struggling to walk, I really felt for all of those brave people and was worried to see Bob.

I was absolutely blown away when I saw Bob, he made it look like an absolute Breeze! He looked the fittest person there! As he walked through the official 56k point we all had proud tears streaming down our faces! We sat with him whilst he ate and Jacqui tended to his feet. Seeing him off again into the darkness was quite emotional; especially knowing we were all going to go to bed and he would be walking through the night.

On Sunday 27th May we set out down to Brighton Racecourse ready to see him complete this walk. It was so humid and muggy and we really felt for him having to walk in such heat.

Bob, again, made it look easy – he strolled through the finish line and again we were all in floods of tears, we were all so incredibly proud.

Bob did this challenge in 28 hours and 25 minutes walking just over 150,000 steps and came in 583rd place raising a phenomenal £1,505.00 (£1,727.50 with gift aid).

Huge congratulations and a very big thank you Bob for undertaking this challenge to help CRY.

Sarah Ridgley