Capital Challenge Sat 1 April 2017 - photos and report

Event Photos, Report and Feedback

Prepared by Gordon Parker, event organiser, 10 April 2017

     Early morning view up-river from the Golden Jubiliee Bridge, shortly after the start of the Challenge
Photo: Zoltan Fodor



We've pulled together a fantasic selection of photos from this wonderful event.   Click through the gallery below to see some of the highlights!


  • Zoltan Fodor
  • Emma Maccormick
  • Jackie Burnett
  • Paula Ridley
  • Kathryn Plant


The first box, below, contains the Event Report.

The second box contains examples of some of the (overwhelmingly positive!) Feedback we've received





LDWA London agreed at its 2016 AGM that we would organise a new challenge walk in London. We hoped for a walk that would showcase both famous and hidden parts of London and would be relatively mud-free. Judging from the comments received from participants in the event, our aims were achieved. As Coordinator, I was delighted to feel that this was truly a group-led event with many people contributing to its success.

  • Entries were limited to 100 people in order to test the catering and route capacity. By the eve of the event there were 104 active entries; on the day, 8 people did not start.

  • The 96 starters (including 87 LDWA members) came from all over England with 2 from Wales and 1 from Germany (see table at end of report). One retired during the event.

  • The route worked well and many thanks are due to Susanne Waldschmidt who led throughout the route planning and wrote the Route Description. She was accompanied on recces by Adam Dawson, Douglas Robinson (and Duke) and Peter Aylmer. Bathurst Mews, the Pergola and Abney Park cemetery seem to have been the stand-out, perhaps because unexpected, highlights. The Route Description had been tested several times including the Marshals’ Walk and Ron Wilkinson's Pop-Up walks.

  • Douglas negotiated the checkpoints at the Start (BFI, South Bank), Paddington Station, Hampstead Heath, Finsbury Park Café and Nature’s Throne in the Middlesex Filter Beds. Gordon dealt with the ViewTube café (now The Common) at the Finish. On the whole, all worked well.

  • There were plenty of volunteer marshals. It is gratifying to see the appreciation expressed by participants in the email comments at the end of this report. Gratitude is due to Hazel Stokes for the energy and skill she put into buying and distributing supplies. Thanks also to Sherry Hallmond for use of her car at CP2.

  • Monitoring and timing the participants using PACER worked very well. Results were available instantly so that certificates could be produced; during the event the last-known location of everyone was available: having good mobile signals at all checkpoints was a previously unknown bonus! Thanks to Adam Dawson for setting it all up and to Tony Cartwright and Mary Dumble for supporting London beyond the call of duty.

  • Godfrey O’Callaghan and his former design studio workplace colleagues did a brilliant job on the certificate awarded to finishers.

Gordon Parker

Organiser on behalf of LDWA London

April 2017



Comments Received



Verbal comments on the day were 99% positive. The written (Facebook and email) comments received after the event reinforce that and are worth quoting at length:

  • Thank you to everyone involved in organising yesterday's challenge walk. My group of 5 enjoyed every minute of it. Excellent instructions and beautiful route.   Hope you do it again next year.

  • What a fabulous day, lovely event and great route - a lot of work went into​ that and wonderful weather. Sore feet at end purely because they are not used to walking on hard surface for that distance. Oh wow, that cemetery!! Saw parts of London I never even knew existed. Many, many thanks for all your hard work in organising it. Hope all went well for you and lovely smiley marshals.

  • Just a short note to say how much I enjoyed the walk in London. Some of the locations we walked through were fascinating. We enjoyed playing spot the Blue Plaque challenge. It was a great day. Many thanks for all your organisation.

  • Many thanks for organising the Inaugural Challenge event on Saturday. It was my first challenge event and I really enjoyed it. The instructions were very helpful, particularly the information on toilet stops.

  • I just wanted to write, having completed the Capital Challenge yesterday and say thank you for a fantastic event.  It was brilliant to be part of the first ever challenge.  I was part of a group of five who live 50 miles South of London.  We all have spent time in our Capital but nothing prepared us for some of the places we passed through.  Bathurst Mews and the Pergola in particular stopped us in our tracks. For me personally it's ignited a new love of London and I can't wait to go back and revisit some of the route.  I will also be going back to travel around the capital ring, I never knew it was there! I also wanted to say how wonderfully cheerful and helpful your volunteers and marshals were.  They were so friendly and really made the day. Not to mention the chocolate brownie at the end! Congratulations on a fantastically successful and enjoyable day.

  • Just to say how much I enjoyed the walk and discovering places I had no idea existed. It was excellent having proper cafe pit stops, so real coffee, and delicious cakes at the end. There were two places that instructions could have been clearer (in my opinion), on crossing the lock and then going under a bridge and two sewer pipes there were visible sewer pipes to the left so perhaps just saying turn right would help, and again when crossing the road and going on the boardwalk near the end we were not clear which direction to go. I shall definitely be going back to do more of the capital ring, such interesting parts of London. Huge thanks to all the marshals and organisers.
  • I just want to say a big thank you for organising such an awesome walk. It was quite the adventure- never knowing what we would had everything, pelicans, camels, hills!, horse stables, beautiful gardens and parks, architecture....what a great way to see London.  We each had our favourite bit, the cemetery, hanging gardens, Bathhurst Mews..but there was so much choice. The green-ness and the wildlife surprised me- pelicans in London? Really? And I would love to come back and see the rose gardens in full flower and sit on Primrose Hill with a nice flask of tea. We are always appreciative of the amount of effort and time that people put in to enable these events- so thank you. My urban walking needs some practice though- a few mountains and bogs would have been much easier underfoot! And I missed my free cake.... NB as we were walking to Stratford station- we passed a 5km event just warming up- over the tannoy, it was announced that one of the runners had just completed a 27 mile walk....Londoners.....:)
    [South Wales]
  • Just a quick email to tell you how much we all enjoyed the wonderful Capital Challenge event on Saturday and getting the opportunity to walk through some magnificent places and scenery- as Londoners we probably would never expect to discover - thank you to all the happy volunteers and supporters on the day for making the event so successful. If you need anyone to write a report for Strider, I would be happy to do so.
  • I loved the event. Everything combined to make it a good day; the weather, the cafes, the route, the plethora of helpful marshalls, and a friendly bunch of walkers, many of whom I'd never met previously. So many interesting sights, including that cemetery, the views from the hills, and Jewish people out in their Sabbath best clothes. All things being equal, I'd like to marshall next year, and perhaps do the marshall's walk. I, and others, suffered some hesitation & deviation this year; I think the route description just needs a few tweaks.
  • Thank you so and everybody else involved in the organising team. It was a really lovely day out. I loved how at each station volunteers always shared some conversation than to simply just scan us all in.
  • Excellent day's walking.
  • Thanks for a fantastic event today . So we'll organised . The route was amazing . Loved it.
  • Thank you so much for today's Capital Challenge we enjoyed every single step and really hope this becomes a permanent calendar fixture!!!

  • A few [photos] from a fantastic walk on Saturday.... 'Capital Challenge' .... This walk is in my top three. I loved it. Hats off and a HUGE thank you to all involved in organising it
  • Wonderful day in London - thanks to all involved. Lots of secret places to go back and explore.
  • Thanks very much to London LDWA for putting on a terrific walk yesterday around the parks, woods, rivers, canals and old railways around North London.
  • Who would have thought that London had so many green spaces? Parks, canals, rivers, disused railway lines. History sites thrown in too: the Gunpowder plot; Charles II, his mistress, his queen, his pelicans; the Peasants’ Revolt; WWII memorials.
    On the more practical side, many available toilets too (noted in the RD), often a problem when we pass through civilization. A well thought out route and an excellent route description. Thank you, London Group
  • Arriving at CP4: London is beautiful!


Origin of Starters by County
























South Yorkshire




South Wales






East Sussex










West Sussex