Review of the year 2019: August

Ricky, pictured during the Colour me Krazy 5k event. Picture: Wheelchair Marathon Journey

Ricky, pictured during the Colour me Krazy 5k event. Picture: Wheelchair Marathon Journey - Credit: Archant

Charity challenges and community events were aplenty in August as temperatures soared in Stevenage and North Herts.

Simon Race, with his wife Susie, after the RideLondon-Surrey 100. Picture: Danny Fitzpatrick.

Simon Race, with his wife Susie, after the RideLondon-Surrey 100. Picture: Danny Fitzpatrick. - Credit: Archant

We started the month featuring Ricky Western's amazing efforts completing a 300-mile endurance challenge from his adapted wheelchair.

Ricky was in a car crash when he was 17, leaving him a quadreplegic - with restricted movement of his hands, arms and trunk.

Squirrels have been navigating increasingly complex courses in Steve's garden over the years.

Squirrels have been navigating increasingly complex courses in Steve's garden over the years. - Credit: Archant

The 29-year-old from Stevenage completed a variety of events, from a 5k colour run to the Lytham Windmill half marathon, to hit his target.

At the time he said: "I would have laughed at the offer to do this [10 miles a day] a year ago.

The squirrels had to overcome everything from a pit stop to a literal hair-pin bend.

The squirrels had to overcome everything from a pit stop to a literal hair-pin bend. - Credit: Archant


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"This challenge is easy, if you're determined, for a runner and even more so in a chair as you can do this at anytime and anywhere."

In other charity challenge news, the aptly named Simon Race from Weston was one of 500 British Heart Foundation Champions who completed a 100-mile ride from London to Surrey and back to the city to reach the finish line at The Mall.

Retired teacher Steve Barley has built elaborate assault courses for squirrels since 2010.

Retired teacher Steve Barley has built elaborate assault courses for squirrels since 2010. - Credit: Archant

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He raised £1,100 for the charity - after his mum Maureen had a heart attack two years ago, and his wife Susie's father died from a heart attack aged just 51.

Simon said: "Taking on the ride was a truly phenomenal experience. The sense of comradery amongst the cyclists was so uplifting, especially up the more difficult hills, and I loved spotting the red jerseys of other BHF riders along the way."

The Ashwell Show 2019 took place on bank holiday Monday. Picture: Matt Margesson

The Ashwell Show 2019 took place on bank holiday Monday. Picture: Matt Margesson - Credit: Archant

Also in August, Steve Barley proudly showed off the obstacle courses he made for the squirrels in his Hitchin garden.

Having grown frustrated with the failed efforts of his 'squirrel-proof' bird feeders, he wanted to make the squirrels earn their nutty breakfast.

The Ashwell Show 2019 took place on bank holiday Monday. Picture: Matt Margesson

The Ashwell Show 2019 took place on bank holiday Monday. Picture: Matt Margesson - Credit: Archant

In 2010, Steve and his son built their first obstacle course from an old ironing board and disused wood and the size and complexity of the courses has increased over the past nine years - leading Steve's wife to insist that this hobby is "getting out of hand!"

Steve also commentates over all of the courses he creates, providing humorous puns to accompany every twist and turn. Hooray for Steve!

The Ashwell Show 2019 took place on bank holiday Monday. Picture: Matt Margesson

The Ashwell Show 2019 took place on bank holiday Monday. Picture: Matt Margesson - Credit: Archant

To round off the month, The Ashwell Show 2019 on bank holiday Monday took place as temperatures soared in North Herts.

Camel racing the much-anticipated attraction of the day for many of the 3,500 people who attended.

The Ashwell Show 2019 took place on bank holiday Monday. Picture: Matt Margesson

The Ashwell Show 2019 took place on bank holiday Monday. Picture: Matt Margesson - Credit: Archant

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