Well this is long overdue! I promised, in my last post, that I’d drop in a short update on how the day went – and after all the fund raising, I have to say a big “SORRY” that I haven’t done so until now.
We had an absolutely incredible day for the Push. Getting up at 7am and jumping on two buses to get us out to the university campus from which the Push organisers laid on a mini bus to get us to the starting point. That starting point was handing out free breakfast rolls to participants and a coffee to boot! Marvellous stuff, and having had our fill of bacon butty, we were ready for the 13 mile trek and we didn’t have long to wait.
Piped off the start line, we started out leading the pack for the first mile or so before a few “more dedicated” hikers picked up their pace. But we weren’t plodding along and made good time over gentle hills to the half-way point at around noon.
Lunch was provided (lasagne no less!) and after a short break to change socks, and a quick interview for Sarah for the Hospice, we were underway for the second leg of the Push. We were in good spirits still – it had been plain sailing to this point and we thought that we would be breezing through the final 8 miles to the finish.
How wrong we were.
Less than a mile from the lunch stop, we hit Turnhouse Hill. A near 45 degree incline for the best part of two kilometres, I was cursing every step of the initial climb, then I was too out of breath to be cursing anything for the rest.
At last, we topped Turnhouse. Can’t get any worse than that, I naively thought. Because, of course, it did. After the route ditched us down most of Turnhouse, we then faced the equally daunting Carnethy climb. More cursing, more running out of breath and lots and lots (and lots) of stops later, we got to the rocky outcrop at the top of Carnethy and took a 5 minute breather. The views were incredible and by this point I was beginning to realise that I was going to be adding “sunburn” to “sore” on my list of upcoming ailments following the Push.
The rest of the walk, thankfully was downhill, then back along the initial 2 kilometre stretch that took us to the start/finish point.
We got a great cheer as we crossed the line: we were around the 20th bronze-walk’ers to finish that day and while not quite as emotional as finishing the Caledonian Challenge back in 2000, it was a rewarding moment to realise that we’d done it, enjoyed it and raised over a thousand pounds for the Hospice in the process.
Thanks again to everyone who sponsored us!
And in case you were wondering… yep, we’re doing it all again. This time, however, we’re aiming higher! We’re aiming… for SILVER! <gulp!> So that’s a hairy 18 miles over the Pentlands in September next year. I’m not going to lie. I think I might actually have to do some training for this one!
It’s probably a little early to be asking everyone for money all over again, but believe it or not, our sponsor page is already up and running. Spread the word (if not the money!) :
Until then, you can see the full Flickr feed of images from the day here :