Monday, 3 October 2011

WE DID IT - 25 Mile Sponsored Walk

At 9.30am on what turned out to be the hottest October day on record, myself and an amazing group of friends embarked on my first fundraising event for Rwanda, a 25 mile sponsored walk around Rutland Water.

During the week leading up to the day we agreed on the route we would take and plotted stop off points around the map.  Rutland Water runs in a circuit so at the end of the day there were only two directions we could go in.  We all agreed to leave the peninsular section until the end just incase people wanted to leave that bit out.

We all headed off eager and looking forward to the day ahead .... it soon became apparent that out of the only two directions we could go in .... we started off in the opposite direction than originally planned ... oops ... this meant we walked the peninsular section first which in the end proved to be the best route to take, it was one of the hardest sections and we were all relieved that we did that be first.

After the initial blip and a quick re-arrange of stop off points we settled comfortably into the walk and started to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.  The heat was a problem and we all had to keep reminding ourselves to drink plenty of water.  Unfortunately after about 14 miles the heat became too much for Annie and sadly she retired at that point along with her daughter Joanna.  A huge well done and thank you to both of you, your support was hugely appreciated.  The remaining seven had a well deserved half hour lunch break and then continued with the walk.

The last 4-5 hrs of the walk was definitely the toughest.  Feet were hurting, joints were aching and the sun was still pounding down on us all.  Despite all of this we kept going, stop offs for some became shorter through fear of not starting again, for others they were relished and a chance to take on extra fluid and a fifteen minute break.  For the last four miles we had separated into two groups, both determined to finish but at their own paces.  Discussions had become one worded sentences and at times not even words just grunts.  Every walk up and descent of a hill became a mini challenge in itself, especially when every muscle in your body is fighting against you.

I would like to mention at this point that the final sign to the Horse & Jockey Inn (our finish line) which stated "one mile to go" was quite clearly a blatant lie and should have read "at least two miles to go" .... nuff said.

At 6.30pm, nine hours after we started the first group which included myself, Martin & Tracey reached the finish line and a well deserved pint.  Every muscle and bone in our bodies hurt and we weren't entirely sure how we were going to sit down and drink our pint but the sense of achievement was overwhelming.  At 7.15pm Jo, Jeanne, George & Johntie finished and were more than ready for their celebration drink too.

Writing this one day on from the walk, how am I feeling? Well, apart from the fact that every muscle in my body still hurts and walking around  is proving to be an issue ..... I am also feeling an immense sense of achievement and pride, not just for myself  but for everyone who walked with me.  I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who joined me, despite the heat and pain it was a fantastic day and its all down  to an amazing group of friends and their support.  Thank you & well done x 

1 comment:

  1. Well done!! sooo proud of you!! wish i could have been there with you guys!! huuuge hugs and good luck!! lily