First sign-ups for the Orwell Challenge in memory of niece

Lesley and Paul Stephenson - first to register for this year's Orwell Challenge.

Lesley and Paul Stephenson - first to register for this year's Orwell Challenge. - Credit: Steve Favell

The first people have signed up for this year's Orwell Challenge, taking part in the event in memory of their niece.

Lesley and Paul Stephenson have become the first people to sign up for the walk and trail run, taking place on Sunday, June 19.

The challenge, organised by Ipswich East Rotary Club, stretches from three to up to 25 miles of either walking or running, for charity.

Lesley Stephenson, along with Paul, who take part in the challenge every year, have so far raised £800 for charity, in memory of their niece who died in 2018.

Lesley said: “Paul and I are walkers, and we do the full 25-mile walk. Walking is our main hobby, but it’s one thing walking a few miles at the weekend, to walking a full 25-mile challenge.

"Our niece Jessica Stephenson was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016. So, in 2018 four of us took part and raised money for the Brain Tumour Charity. Sadly, Jessica passed away just four months after us completing the Orwell Challenge."

Co-ordinator of the Orwell Challenge, Rotarian John Button said: “Whether running or walking there will be manned checkpoints every few miles along the route with refreshments provided. You decide just how far you wish to run or walk.

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"Once you've gone as far as you can, we, at Ipswich Rotary Club, will provide a free lift back to the headquarters, if needed.

“We are using Gainsborough Sports Centre as our HQ again this year and we are extremely grateful to them.

"Runners and walkers will need to check-in at Gainsborough with us before setting off on the course. We are delighted our main sponsor for 2022 is WTW.

"Please do join us on the June 19, and help to raise vital funds for many charities near and far.”

Lesley and Paul's JustGiving page can be found here.

More information about the Orwell Challenge and how to take part can be found here.