Four friends’ epic trek across Hong Kong for good cause

For many, a night out means a few drinks and a catch up with your friends.

But for one team of four, their experience was very different.

On the night that the two men and two women met, they decided to hike almost 70 miles across Hong Kong for charity.

Hethersett born Jon Ashley, 34, and his hiking colleagues completed the Maclehose trail trek through the wild and up mountains, in 33 hours, raising over �4,000 for Oxfam.

The group met in a bar on Wyndham Street, in Central Hong Kong, as they are all British people living in the Asian city.

Anna Kirsten Swindenbank 32, from Brighton and Clare Wiliams-Laverty, 32, from Woking, have both been living there for five years, while Nick Evans, 31, from Hertfordshire, has been in the city for two years.

Mr Ashley, a former City College student, has been working for an architecture company in Hong Kong for a year. He said the team trained for four months, making the most of their beautiful surroundings by hiking up to 50 miles a week in preparation. He said: 'It took a lot out of us. Going up the peaks was hard, but coming down was even more painful. We thought it was something a bit different to do, but I'm not sure we'll be doing it again.'

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The trek was part of the Oxfam Trailwalker fundraising event which takes place in Hong Kong every November.

The trail takes in many of Hong Kong's highest peaks, and is marked by distance posts at 500m intervals along the path.

Mr Ashley added: 'All of these trails offer similar tests of endurance, particularly when you have to battle the mid-summer cyclones, as well as the intense heat and humidity. We also got up close and personal with nature, fending off all sorts of creatures, including monkeys, snakes, spiders and packs of wild dogs.'

To sponsor the fundraiser visit 12031&teamNo=0460&locale=en

Are you organising an event for charity? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428, or email