Last Sunday I did something that I would have thought impossible just a couple of years ago………I voluntarily walked 15 miles.
I have never been a walker, I’ve never previously wanted to get up and walk for any distance. But since I shed a bit of excess weight last year, it has become a pleasure to go for walks, and they’ve been getting longer! Since we moved to the Isle of Wight a year ago, I joined a local walking group partly to meet some new people, and partly to discover some new footpaths on the island. So we meet up every week and do a circular walk of about 6 or 7 miles.
How come you did 15 miles, I hear you ask? Every year the Isle of Wight has a two-week walking festival, which culminates in an event called Walk the Wight, to raise money for the Macmillan hospice charity. You can choose to walk the full distance from east to west, which is about 28 miles, or you can do the first half or the second half.
I chose to do the second half, from Carisbrooke to The Needles, roughly 15 miles. I paid an amount to register, and received the bright yellow tee shirt. Although the main goal was to raise money for the charity, my main motivation was to test myself and see if I could in fact walk 15 miles. And I did it! I’m feeling very chuffed with myself. I’ve never ever walked so far in all my life! The first ten miles weren’t too difficult, except for the very steep hill at the beginning, which really got your heart racing!
Along the way, there were various check points, where you could take water, or use the loo. It was very well organised, with first aiders and other staff to direct you along the way. I started off at a good pace, and did the first six miles in two hours, but slowed down later when I reached the greatest challenge, Tennyson Down! Coming nearby the end of the walk, this uphill expanse of countryside was a real killer. I’m not good at hills, and was over taken by an 80 year old woman, a 9 year old child, and a blind dog. Not a dog which helps blind people, but an actual blind dog!
The last mile was very difficult for me. My feet were so sore, and my whole body was complaining. We approached the Needles, but there was still another mile to go, following a zig zag road, and a gravel track. The finish line was inside the pleasure park, where I received my medal!
Looking back, I really enjoyed Walking the Wight, and would definitely do it again. It’s amazing what you can do if you try……
Here’s a post about a walk we did last year in Greece, when we very nearly got terribly lost……