3:29pm Thursday 20th February 2014
By Hayley Mortimer
THREE Marling School students enjoyed sun, sea and sand - even if it was only for an hour.
Dressed in bright pink lycra suits, friends Joe Marshall, Will Smith and Alastair Bolton travelled all the way to Lanzarote with just £10, a passport and some charm.
They were part of the The Pink Escape, which saw students try to get as far away from Stroud as possible in just 36 hours.
So far the teams have collectively raised more than £7,900 for Breast Cancer Care.
Joe, 17, said: "It was an amazing experience and a lot of fun.
"We got some funny looks but people were very positive and supportive.
"We even managed to raise £500 by holding a collection on the plane.
"We were allowed to make an announcement over the PA system and went up and down the aisle asking for donations."
Eleven teams of three set off from Stratford Park at 8am on Monday, February 17.
Joe and his team ran straight to a friend's house in Stroud to make a frantic phone call to Thomson Holidays.
"We had a connection with someone who worked for Thomson and she was able to sort out a return flight," said Joe.
"So we hitch-hiked from Stroud to Reading and from there we were given free train tickets to Gatwick by First Great Western."
The boys then managed to sweet talk the manager of The New Hampton Hilton Hotel into giving them a free room before their morning flight to Lanzarote.
They were only on foreign soil for an hour before they had to catch the same plane back to Gatwick, but it was enough time for a quick visit to the beach after a member of airport staff offered to drive them to the nearest resort.
Back in England they received free train tickets back to Reading and were driven back to Stroud by a friend.
Altogether 33 students donned bright pink Morph suits and travelled by land, by sea and by air to locations across Europe including Bordeaux, Amsterdam, Rouen, Inverness and Newcastle.
Joe said: "It really was a group effort and the most important thing is that we raised a fantastic amount of money for a charity that helps so many families.
"We may have travelled the furthest but I don't see us as the winners - the real winners are the charity."
To sponsor The Pink Escape teams go to www.justgiving.com/thepinkescape
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