We’d like to wish a huge congratulations to all the walkers and everyone else involved in the charity walk for Hayden’s Sanctuary Project and Acorns Children’s Hospice this weekend!
Three teams completed 318 miles collectively this weekend, which is an outstanding achievement and we are extrememly proud of every single one of them.
Monies are still being donated/collected and there are plans for a fundraiser event in July for the same causes, so these proceeds will also be added to the pot, but so far, the JustGiving page is well on it’s way to hitting £1K at present and that’s without tallying up everyone’s sponsor forms yet too!
The route had to be amended somewhat on the days, as it attempted to take us down A roads, which were often dangerous at times and highly uneven ground to walk on for a lengthy amount of time.
Team 1 consisted of two people who encountered massive setbacks in training, therefore they did their very best and walked as far as they could around a park instead, completing 24 miles each which is great considering they thought they would have to pull out alltogether.
Team 2 was myself and two others. We awoke at 4.30am in Leicester where we were staying on Friday and Saturday night and caught an early morning train to Wolverhampton, setting off from our starting point around 8.15-8.30am.
We had glorious weather all morning with some lovely Spring sunshine to spur us on our way.
At around 3.30pm we reached Tamworth, our halfway point for Day 1, after only having stopped on a couple of occasions for toilet breaks and a quick stretch.
Like I say, we had to negotiate some tricky A roads and roundabouts, which unfortunately slowed us down a bit.
We took rest, shelter and food in a restaurant on The Jolly Sailor Retail Park in Tamworth, as on reaching this point, the heavens were starting to open and heavy rain was setting in.
We spent over an hour here refuelling and waiting for the rain to clear and pass over a little bit.
Socks were changed, stretches done, several toilet trips made and off we trot again, attempting to make headway towards Leicester for the second leg of Day 1.
Further A roads and roundabouts were negotiated along the way, still in the slight drizzle of rain that remained, until we finally approached a B road and some pavements/footpaths again at last!
We continued through the Staffordshire and Warwickshire countryside, meandering our way through towns and villages and enjoying the sights and scenery along the way, until the rain finally stopped and a lovely sunset emerged on the horizon of the evening sky.
We reached a village named Warton at around 9pm, when one of our group was struggling and we needed to stop.
We took this opportunity as a welcomed break to put our feet up and refuel on tea and coffee at a lovely pub in said village, named The Fox & Dogs.
They warmly welcomed us in with friendly smiles and on hearing we’d walked from Wolverhampton all day, seemed shocked, worried and asked why! They had fabulous senses of humour and were interested in hearing all about what we were doing and the charities we were doing it for.
They plyed us with tea and made us feel at home, allowing us to put our feet up and rest on comfy sofas.
During this rest period, we could see it going dark and after being out for over 12 hours already, decided to call it a night.
We were still 20 miles away from Leicester, our destination for Day 1 and it would have meant walking through village then country road and so on for said 20 miles, with limited street lighting too. Plus we still hadn’t properly eaten since 4pm, so we took the sensible option to call our emergency driver and ask to be picked up and taken back to our hotel in Leicester so we could get to bed and feel refreshed and ready to start Day 2.
Team 3 consisted of three more people who were attempting the full route in 20 hours, setting off from Wolverhampton at 7pm and going right through the night.
Our driver was also on hand for teams 2 and 3, to meet at check points with water, energy drinks, food, aid etc.
He needed to make a stop with team 3 after collecting us from Warton, so we met up with them before returning to our hotel that night.
It gave us all a boost seeing the other teams and we wished the night team well as they trekked off into the dark, armed with their head torches and high viz vests!
On arriving back in Leicester, we received a call to say a member of Team 3 had pulled a muscle and couldn’t continue. He hobbled on for 10 miles bless him, then they called it a night at the 30 mile mark. Our other emergency driver who was waiting in Stamford (our finishing point) on standby, came out to the rescue!
Team 3 retreated to Stamford and the remaining two uninjured members had 2 hours rest, then continued for a further 30 miles around Stamford, taking them through to Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile back in Leicester, after a lovely night’s sleep, albeit not long enough, my team got up around 9am. We knew there would have to be further amendments to the walk that day, so we leisurely got ready and enjoyed a hearty breakfast before checking out of the hotel around 11am.
On liasing with Team 3 and realising the route would once again take us down a 15 mile streth of a dangerous A road, we made alterations to our plans for Day 2.
I followed our emergency driver in my car up to Stamford and parked up there.
We then got a lift 5 miles back out of Stamford to a village called Ketton, where it looked safe to walk i.e. there was a footpath!
We walked back into Stamford, then generally wandered around Stamford town, clocking up a further 10 miles on Day 2, before having to once again call it a day.
People waiting to see us at the finish line, which was Hayden’s house, needed to get off, as it was getting late into Sunday evening now and Hayden was also going to bed and we wanted to see him before he did so, as after all, it was all for him and Acorns of course, so this made it all worthwhile seeing his little happy smiling face!
I have already completed just shy of two full marathons, but have decided to complete another 40 miles over the next week or so, in my own area, to make it upto the original 80-90 mile target.
Once again a huge well done to everyone involved and a huge thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your kind donations!
We even received random donations from strangers along the way too, which was really lovely of them!
We will keep you informed of how much we raised when we have a final total, but the JustGiving link remains live for now, should you still kindly wish to donate.
Until the next one troops, on behalf of everyone at The Kimberley Hotel, thank you and very WELL DONE!!!