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21st May, 2022

Malvern Buzzards' Barkley event held on the hills is hailed a great success

THE MALVERN Buzzards has held its second navigational checkpoint adventure event.

The Buzzards Barkley for club members took place in the Malvern Hills.

Participants are tasked with putting as many pages from the books on the trail checkpoints as they run.

There were some changes to the 2020 event, with loosened restrictions and the need to host the event in a slightly different area.

There was a manned race HQ and post-event barbecue hosted by Sally Jakeman from Damson Tree Lodge in Castlemorton.

It provided the opportunity to completely change the book areas from 2020 and allowed the club’s members to explore other areas including Ledbury, Eastnor, Little Malvern, Castlemorton, Berrow and Birtsmorton.

A total of 44 runners took on the adventure on their own and others teamed up in groups of four.

There were grouped staggered times between 7am and 9am as the eager participants set off with their Barkley Booklet and Map in search of the 40 hidden books.

With a maximum of six hours to find as many books as possible, everybody made it back to race HQ safely where the page checking and counting was completed and runners had chance to relax and warm up with a delicious barbecue and hot drinks.

The winners were Jack Abbott and Alun Rees who worked as a team and found 39 books with runners up Dave Lewis and Mark Childe finding 30 books.

Unsurprisingly the ‘Most Checkpoints” and “Greatest Elevation” awards also went to Jack and Alun.

They said: “We had a lot of laughs, were slightly guilty of ‘run first, read map second’, one book evaded our forensic searching.

The ‘Best Selfie’ award went to Nicola Brighton after much deliberation.

She said: “I chose my running partner Sarah Kellett based upon her camera skills, plus she’s a good runner too.

“I knew I’d find the right moment on the run, and once we got to Tinkers Hill there it was.

“We found the book underneath the magical stones, and they levitated onto my head. Sarah captured the moment and the rest is history.”

This event was made possible thanks ‘Team Barkley’ – Adam Dyson, Lily Price, Kate Dolphin and Paul Dolphin and a number of local businesses.

James Elliot-Williams at E-W Commercial Publication printed all the booklets and maps, Chia Charge provided snacks and prizes, Woodshed At the Bridge provided the ‘3’, Bamford Mortgages produced the new event banner and Lasers Are Us for supplied the slate finishers medals.

Preparation is already under way for the 2022 event which the organisers say is going to be bigger and better than ever.

A spokesperson said: “We are hoping to be able to extend the invites to this event out to the wider running clubs and enthusiasts in the Malvern area.”

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