Daniel Boteler shares his third instalment of his Trailwalker Challenge training progress.
First of all I want to officially welcome the latest (and possibly the most underprepared) member of the Sole Survivors team. Oli Murphy (pictured to the left in the blue t-shirt) turned up to his first practice walk with the rest of the team in an old decrepit pair of trainers and no water bottle!
However, what he lacked in preparation he more than made up for in enthusiasm and hilarious tales. In the years that I’ve known Oli he has never failed to make me laugh, which when my feet are covered in blisters and we’ve been walking for 24 hours, will hopefully bring a boost of well needed energy.
For this training walk we did a relatively short post work circuit which took us from Benfield valley to Devils Dyke, across to Poynings and back round in a loop. It was a mere 15km and we completed in in 2 hours and 40 minutes. The route took us across some of the South Downs Way track that we will be walking during the event, it highlighted to us quite how undulating the walk is going to be! Maybe those walking sticks will be a good idea.
One of the fields we went though was full of small calves and their mothers, which was completely fine until a few of the calves seemed to be in a playful mood which the mothers didn’t appreciate. It did occur to us that if we meet our target time we would be walking through the same field in the dark when it comes to the actual event, playing chicken with one of the playful cows in the dark doesn’t seem quite as appealing!
Following this walk we have planned an 8 hour trek across the South Downs Way next Sunday, this will be the furthest we walk prior to the event and will be the penultimate training session. We plan for our last training session to be a night walk to help us prepare for the unknown adventure of walking in the dark.
Once again we want to thank everyone at Grovelands who participated in the ‘dress down Friday’ last week, and for all those who have participated in the sweepstake to predict our finishing time, which combined, has raised another £154 for Oxfam.
Thank you for taking the time to reads these blogs, I plan to write two more prior to the event and a final one post event. As mentioned previously, if you would like to sponsor us on this mission please feel free to do so via our Just Giving page.
– Dan Boteler