Walk the Wight is an annual event, now part of the walking festival over here. I usually do the 2nd half which starts in Carisbrooke heading 14 miles to Alum Bay, but this year was persuaded to do the whole thing 26ish mile (for the 2nd time, last one was years ago in pouring rain, so i figured it couldn't be as hard as that!) Well it was certainly an experience! Started at 6.55 am in Bembridge, met my sister, brother and his friend, armed with sweets, chocolate and a big pot of pasta salad! But it wasn't raining and it was even a bit sunny so that was good. The wind was blowing well though!
And the very first section was a blooming great hill, so steep you wouldn't believe.Didn't remember that bit..EEK! made it to the top, me and my sister both exclaiming"we don't do hills"! Definitely needed water at the top. onwards to Brading , quick pop in the loo,where the local hall had opened up their doors! the lady in front came out saying"just want you to know that smell wasn't me!!" Onwards and upwards, my sister was keen to break open the 8 pack of snickers in my bag but we decided to wait to give us an incentive! Borrowed my partners posh garmin with enough battery to last the whole trip so see below if you want to know the route!!
We plodded on, there was quite a few muddy sections, a lot of steep ups and downs, but everyone was in it together and up for the challenge! went through a very sandy field which was whipping up the wind in a nasty manner soon reached Arreton, and saw my friends parents who were marshalls there and have been doing it every year since the beginning of time!!! Saw a friend whose mum had died last year and he was doing it in her memory, he had her photo and a message to her on his t-shirt, as the walk is for the local hospice a lot of people do it in memory of loved ones.
Made it to 9 miles and said to my sister "we're over a 3rd of the way now!" we could do this! At the 12 mile mark met up with another of my brothers friend Jamie, the off to another hill to get onto the Tennyson Trail, the views from there are fantastic and the sun was shining! Niggles in my feet(new gel insoles, not sure if they helped) and legs were beginning to kick in now, my sisters hip was hurting, my brother had achy bum and legs! fairly flat route to Brightstone, met up with my niece and her friends at the forest there, they started half way and had almost had enough already!! we all met up at the checkpoint where the coffee van was set up and had Lattes, lunch and cakes! Didn't sit down for long,10mins or so, my brother wouldn't sit down as said he wouldn't get up again! off up the nasty steep hills, but for me the downhills are the WORST for me, just on knee always gives me loads of gyp!(see photo above , we are heading towards the end round the corner of the white cliffs) got to next checkpoint and signed in, the next hill was one we all dread out of Brook, (see white path in photo) really steep and chalky rough paths.And would you believe it, halfway up hill the heavens opened.Cue me and my NEW waterproof trousers, GOT to get my moneys worth out of these, battled getting them over my walking boots with all that lining, but they were on and i felt dry Got up and bumped into my old workmate katie and her pal, as i had lost both brother(ahead) and sister(behind) by now we walked together and moaned a lot about the driving rain that stung our cheeks!OUCH! Katie had never done the full walk before and was finding it hard going as we all were by then!
The rain stopped and the everlasting golf course came into view, then the rain started again and the wind nearly blew us away! and then we were in Freshwater, quick break , took my new insole out of left boot to see if that was better, then the final push of those last 4 miles to Alum Bay.The climb up to Tennyson monument is nasty , really steep initially then a steady climb, after that flat for a while but it goes on forever! really pretty views though! My sister phoned to say she had had to give up at 23 miles as her hip has totally siezed up on last hills, she was gutted but her daughter and friend were carrying on The rain started again at the top of the hill so we put are heads down and laughed at how awful it was! Nearly there though! A guy was playing his bagpipes at the cliff side and the noise carried over us and then we could round the corner to the end! But a bad bit to come, going to Alum bay is a long tarmac path which is downhill and my knee hurt SO much i was hobbling and the wind was gusting so we could barely stand up, the though of the end carried us through though and we got our medals!!
Got Katie to take photo of me at the end(excuse the backdrop not pretty!) which i will post in a min to prove i did it!! Took one of her and pal to send to her too and we had a group hug! Then off top catch up my brother, knew he would be in pub by now! Lovely glass of cider later and hobbled to bus that took us back to newport, met up with my sister by her car and she drove us to my dads where we ordered curries and veg-ed out! got day off work today so thats handy as have BIG blisters on little toes and ball of foot one side, and i hurt alot!!
Thanks for your messages last week, i carried them with me in my mind to keep me going!
Happy running everyone i'm having a rest for a few days!!