As you may know, over the weekend we participated in the Oxfam Trailwalker, a 100km non-stop walk across the South Downs raising money for people living in poverty across the globe. Early Saturday morning Robb, Mahmoud and I drove across to Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Portsmouth to register for the trek, and managed to get our details down just in time for the start klaxon at 9am.
And we were off! The first 20 or so kilometres made for a very pleasant walk, with rolling hills and farmyard animals to keep our attention away from the growing soreness in our feet. Every 10k there was a checkpoint with volunteers cheering you on and water/squash/tea/coffee to keep us hydrated (and awake!).
We arrived at the halfway point as the sun started to set, and were treated to massages to wake our legs up and soup to warm our stomachs and spirits. Feeling rejuvenated, we set off again with our stylish head torches guiding the way, but our high spirits were not to last…
With around 1,500m until Checkpoint 6, disaster struck. I didn’t even realise I had blisters on my feet until one of them popped, but it happened to be a big one on the bottom of my toe – not pleasant! I managed to hop the final stretch to the checkpoint, but at around 11pm, my Trailwalker dreams came to an end. The medic was extremely friendly and wrapped my feet up as best he could, but I knew there was no way I could manage the final 40km with a limp. Robb decided to retire with me because his feet were pretty battered also, but Mahmoud, being the trooper he is, carried on alone!
The following morning, Robb and I met Mahmoud at the finish line, where he was in a surprisingly good mood after finishing the walk in around 25 hours. We had some curry cooked by the Gurkhas, then drove home for some well-needed sleep.
Since our team leader and support group dropped out before the event, we had to carry all our supplies, spare shoes and food on our backs, so to make it 60k was quite an achievement, but for Mahmoud to finish totally alone – hats off to him!
Our feet are slowly mending, and we’re already thinking about trying again next year for glory… We think proper walking shoes and a support team might be a good idea! Our current fundraising total stands at £1,632.22, which is well over our aim of £1,500, so huge thanks to everyone that donated. The final collection is in September so if you haven’t donated yet, there’s still time!
Even though we didn’t finish, we’re still immensely proud to be supporting such a worthy cause. Massive thanks to the volunteers who kept our thoughts happy, and the medics who kept our feet un-amputated. See you all again next year! (Maybe).
If you think you can do the challenge, entries for 2015 are already being collected – sign up here!