Thousands turn out for 2018 End to End
It was a test of endurance under sunny skies on Saturday, but the smiling faces of thousands of participants told the story of another successful XL Catlin End to End.
Those on land put feet and rubber to the road, while in the water they swam, paddled and rowed to raise money for four local charities.
Matt Katzsch, 34, was walking for the second time.
The Pembroke resident has previously taken part in the event by bicycle.
Mr Katzsch added: “The last five miles on the bike you wish you weren’t biking.”
He said that he had decided to switch it up to experience the charity initiative from a different perspective.
His girlfriend, Lucy Foster, 35, of Smith’s, who was taking part for the first time, said it had been a fun experience.
She added: “I thought there’d be alcohol but there’s not.”
She said she and Mr Katzsch had loaded up with water and sandwiches before setting off.
It was also the first End to End for event photographer Amir Ming.
The 29-year-old Southampton resident said the experience had been great.
Mr Ming added: “Everyone’s got a lot of energy, everyone’s having fun.”
He said he enjoyed the community aspect of the event.
Mr Ming added: “No one knows anyone — but everyone’s just happy to be here enjoying Bermuda.”
DJ Christian Hanwell, 9, of Paget, helped keep participant spirits high with a soca-heavy soundtrack at the XL Catlin water stop. It was his first time helping out with the event.
His dad, Andrew, said he had volunteered at the water stop for a couple of events.
Mr Hanwell, 42, explained: “It’s such a great cause. I want to support it any way I can.
“I think it’s really great to see all the island come out.”
Akajae Mills, 15, was also taking part in the event for the first time.
She said: “It’s kind of tiring — but I’ll do it.”
The Pembroke resident said the best part of the experience was getting to spend time walking with her friends from Bermuda High School.
She said she decided to take part this year “for a good experience” and to “do something outside her comfort zone”.
Sheri Burgess, 37, of Smith’s, said she had taken part in the event for a couple of years, each time cycling.
Ms Burgess said it was good exercise and a great social event.
She said the described the best part of this year’s event as the people.
Ms Burgess explained: “A lot of smiling and familiar faces.”
Paget resident Barbara Frith helped to keep participants safe acting as a crossing guard across a stretch of South Road.
The 79-year-old said it was the second time she had volunteered in the role.
Ms Frith said the event “was something worthwhile for the community”.
She added: “I enjoy meeting people.”
Ms Frith was helped by Joan DeSilva-Smith, age 74.
The Devonshire resident said she also enjoyed the chance to meet people through the event.
Ms DeSilva-Smith added that she liked “helping to a put a smile on a person’s face”.
She explained: “You never know who needed that smile.”
Asked whether she planned to volunteer for next year’s event, Ms DeSilva-Smith said: “God willing, I’ll be here.”
Anne Mello, event organiser, said the event had been “incredible”.
Ms Mello said that the event complemented well with last weekend’s dominating win by Flora Duffy.
She explained: “Last week was really great as a spectator event. This is an event where people can participate.
“Coming off of that, I think it’s great because it gives people the motivation that ‘I too could be an athlete in my own way’.”
Ms Mello said the work that went on for months in advance of the event itself was for her the best part.
She added: “When we put these plans in place and then actually see them play, that’s the rewarding part.”
Money generated by this year’s event will benefit the Bermuda Diabetes Association, Bermuda School of Music, Bermuda Sloop Foundation and Pals.
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