Now that is something I didn’t think I would ever say….. I blame Sarah…
I met Sarah a few years ago at GetFit.Run, we seemed to click straight away, I think our love of campervans, the sea and children had something to do with it. When Sarah became ill for the second time, I wanted to support her and her family as much as I could, so when she decided to take on the challenge Hadrian’s Wall, I was in! RTW and 90 miles in May were hatched.
I quickly became part of the committee, taking on the Facebook page for Run The Wall (Yes that’s me…that annoys you constantly) After the very successful fundraiser event things went from strength to strength, the Facebook page gained more than 800 followers.
My aim was to run/walk the whole of Hadrians wall with my two friends Jo and Catherine and the Run The Wall team, being part of such a great gang their was no other thoughts, so the training started, I had lost my running mojo a bit at the beginning of the year, but knew I had to find it to complete the challenge, so I got back to GetFit.Run as well as long walks withJo and Catherine, all in preparation.
Then the whole world stopped….. Coronavirus lockdown, and unimaginable events, illnesses, deaths, something that no one could foresee. We knew in our hearts that RTW would be cancelled, but we held on to the end, until it was confirmed. OPERATION – ‘What shall we do?’ Then Sarah & Chris (or Team Jono) had the brainchild of ‘Virtual RTW’
I was furloughed from work from 06/04/2020, and had the idea of running 50 #notparkruns each morning (this was to motivate me to get up, start the day and help with anxiety) It worked I ran from 4th April to 23rd May, completing the 90 miles in May within these runs.
As the Virtual run got nearer, I had planned on running a stage a day to support RTW, however on Friday 29th at around lunch time, I had the idea of run/walking all 92 miles…. I sent Jo a message, and she said she was in!! so with less than 20 hours to go, that was it we were attempting it all over the four days. The plan was to run solo the first stage of each day, then walk the other three together. We met that evening to plan routes, then home for an early night.
Day 1– Ran our solo 1st stage, then met up and we set of full of energy and chat, packed up with water, food and essentials. The walk was great, we had a lovely day and looked forward to the next day and a new route (I had a bit of pain in two toes)
Ice bath 1, I dipped my toes in..
Day 2– I had a couple of blisters on the two toes, so I taped them up, and ran stage 1 solo, packed up ready to meet Jo, and set off.
Today’s route was in Clumber, the weather was glorious, and the trees provided some much need shade. We both had slight shin pains and talked about ice baths when we got home.
Ice bath 2, full legs worked!
Day 3– I managed to run/walk the 1st stage, with sore feet and shins, this didn’t put me off though, I was still eager to carry on with the challenge, seeing and updating the Facebook page with fellow RTW runners posts was inspiring and made me more determined. We met up and set off to Kiveton, this time along the canal. Conversations were focused on May 2021 and how we were feeling about the task ahead now we had completed 69 miles, the difficulties we could face and preparations, a more intense training plan and ice baths.
Ice bath 3, enjoyable! & worked!
Day 4– PAIN! Toes, feet, shins☹I set off to walk stage 1, it was painful, but as I got going, I found a rhythm…. The day was meant to be overcast and 18 degrees, but it felt hot. I met Jo and we decided that we would stay local as Jo was suffering with her shins as well, being local meant we could go home if we needed to. Stage 2 went OK, but a lot of road walking which was tough on the shins.
After stage 2, Jo suggested we drive to Clumber as the temperature was now 23 degrees, we could walk in the woods in the shade and the ground is softer (on our poor shins) We had a break after each stage, but setting off was slow, it took a while for my feet and shins to get going, Jo felt the same, but we were determined to complete the 92 miles, conversations was ICE BATHS! They had become the new favourite thing.
A little later and slower than planned we did it, we completed the whole 92 miles, with sore feet, toes, shins BUT ecstatic and elated that we had completed what we had set out to do. We called at Team Jono’s to collect our medals (socially distancing of course)
Ice bath 4 – THE BEST!
Did I enjoy it? YES Will I be taking part in 2021? YES
RTW are a family, we are all dedicated to raising much needed funds and supporting all our followers, supporters, and fellow runners. We have lists of ideas, suggestions, and changes for next year – including paddling pools for ice baths! I will continue to be part of this wonderful group and support how I can, and yes, I will still be annoying you all with the Facebook page, I love seeing everyone’s hard work commitment and dedication #RTWWarrior
Hats off to Sarah, Chris, Lily & Summer aka ‘Team Jono’, who are now extended family (whether they like it or not😉)