1000 people trek for our Chopper

TREK STARS: Cherie Montford (left) and Ange Reid walk from Byron Bay to Ballina.
TREK STARS: Cherie Montford (left) and Ange Reid walk from Byron Bay to Ballina. Ross Kendall

CLOSE to 1000 people took on the beautiful but gruelling 37-kilomtere trek from Byron Bay to Ballina yesterday, as part of the Coastal Charity Walk fundraiser for the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.

The walk, or run for the really fit, started at Byron Bay just after 7am and by 3pm there were plenty of people still making their way to the finish line, Zeke Huish, fundraising manager with Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter said.

"Taking on the entire walk can be a gruelling experience and quite challenging," he said.

But on the bright side, the views along the way were spectacular, and it was not often people got to walk so far along the coast, staying away from built-up areas and traffic.

The dramatic and inspiring coastal terrain helped to get people through to the end, Mr Huish said.

There were a couple of checkpoints at Broken Head and Lennox Head Surf Club, so people could opt out at these points if they needed to, he said.

Cherie Montford and Ange Reid joined the walk as part of the Office Works team, and by the time they reached Lennox Head they were tossing up whether to go on.

The almost perfect conditions helped sway them to stick to their task and take on the last leg to Ballina, they said.

"The morning has been absolutely perfect; no wind and not too hot," Ms Reid said.

"We also had some good shelter so it was shaded and really cool," she said.

The event is in its forth year and is one of the principle fundraising events helping to keep the Rescue Helicopter in the sky, and saving lives.

Each entrant donated $25 to the fund, but could also bring in supplementary sponsorship dollars as well, Mr Huish said.

There was a fundraising target of $250,000, but a final tally would not be known for a while, and result also depended on the outcome of a sister event held in Coffs Harbour.

Numbers were down roughly 10 per cent on last year, but nonetheless the support was a great effort and very much appreciated, Mr Huish said.

Anne McHugh and Josie Cubitt were part of the Summit fitness team, and were happy to be out supporting such a worthy cause.


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