As Rach so helpfully put it, today is T-7. Seven days until I set off.
Terrified doesn’t come close. I’m not even sure what does. But we’re bottling that for now – after all, there are seven whole days ahead, surely I only need a few of them to panic??
Right now we’re into the finishing touches of, well, everything.
Kit lists are being assembled, last minute items being bought, final food tastings taking place etc.
This has also included getting out to test the GPS I’ve been lent, ensuring I remembered how to use a compass and read a map, trying my new full leg running leggings and my fully-loaded Camelbak plus much more. Obviously a mere walk locally wouldn’t suffice for himself, so he gave up his day and insisted we head from Patterdale up to Kidsty Pike – the highest accent on my challenge. It was a 12-mile round trip, but involved a lot of walking, stopping to test equipment, practicing with my new poles.
This was after an hour:
To ensure I had fully trained for everything, the world decided to give us low clouds at the top, horrendous winds, and little to no visibility. And then it started to rain. I promise you the forecast was for light winds and only cloud when we set off! Fortunately we were well-equipped with the right wet weather gear, but it showed me what kept me warm – and what didn’t.
And this is what I looked like after two hours, as the weather changed and I hunkered down behind a wall to eat!
Thanks again to D, who so tirelessly motivates me when I struggle, acts as technical advisor, ensures the clothing is washed and waterproofed, and is just always a constant. And then thanks to ma, who has massaged my legs and was marinading lamb at 9pm to ensure we can keep trialling food ahead of next week.
Tough going – but not alone
The trek has reminded me of the sheer scale of my ascents, and quite how tough the first two days are really going to be. I’ve pulled my start time back an hour to 8am, but even so, I have a full 12 hours minimum ahead of me on potentially both days. Thankfully, I have the incredible offer of a navigator on day two, to ensure I don’t get lost!
The amazing Angela White will be walking the tough day – complete with three peaks – to support me. She read it on someone else’s FB, and selflessly contacted me to ask if she could help in any way. I won’t tell her story – that’s for her – but she has her own reasons for supporting The Brain Tumour Charity and has completed the C2C on foot… but as a non-stop ultra marathon! Makes my challenge look easy… albeit she is an ultra-marathonist who does it for fun!!! Anyway, you can find out more about her here.
To brighten up the hike up, we got chatting with C2C walker Dan. He’s from near Oxford and, after 10 years of putting off the C2C and trying to make plans to do it, he finally bit the bullet. He’s allowed himself three weeks to head from St Bees to Robin Hood Bay. We wandered together for 30 minutes, having a great chat… Before we said goodbye we posed for a pic and then he headed into the clouds.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who is supporting me. The sponsorship that has come flooding in is overwhelming – and is currently just a few hundred pounds off £3,000. I’m blown away.
Aside from that, people are sharing it on Twitter, LinkedIn and on Facebook, therefore introducing me and my challenge to a wider audience, bringing in more sponsorship and more offers of support.
Every penny makes the pain worthwhile. Thank you.