After over 200 miles of training walks, many of which involved carry 28 pounds of weights in a rucksack (building up the legs for those hills), the big day finally arrived. Twelve of us set off from Bewdley at 05:50 am hoping to complete the 31 miles and 1560 metres of ascent over the Worcestershire hills. Were we going to make it? The forecast was set for a dry day but the temperature was going to rise in the afternoon to around 20 degrees, about the time we would be tackling the final and steepest hill of the walk to reach the finishing point at Great Malvern. To be quite honest it felt a lot hotter and I lost count of the number of litres of water I consumed on route. The heat and the distance did take its toll and some of the walkers had to drop out along the way. However all the training paid off; I managed reached the finishing point along with my daughter Sarah. For some strange reason the last 200 yards became a run to the finish. I can only conclude that the smell of beer in the air can make a thirsty man do strange things.
Thankfully a day later I am none the worse for wear; a few aches and pains in the legs and still dog, tired despite nine hours solid sleep. I count myself lucky as many people with vasculitis could not even contemplate such a physical challenge. I sincerely hope it stays that way for me (not that I’m thinking of doing the walk again!). For me this was my personal challenge against vasculitis. I think I gave it a good kicking.
My friends, family and work colleagues have generously helped me raise £1250 for Vasculitis UK. Hopefully there will some more to come.
I must say a special thanks to Martyn Wells who has tirelessly organised and promoted this event. And in the face of a lot of current medical adversity he amazingly completed the whole 31 miles. Well done Martyn.