For a few years now a good friend of mine who does alot of amazing work for www.projectchange.org/ (A charity who launch new projects and support programs that are dedicated to building orphanages, schools, and rehabilitation centers in Africa) has been trying to convince me to take part in a challenge in the UK.
The challenge which is detailed here is an annual event near Keswick in the Lake District and you can take part doing 1 of 2 walks. The first which for now is beyond me is a gruelling 10 hills in 10 hours otherwise know as the 10 in 10.
The other option and the one I finally decided to tackle is 5 hills in 5 hours otherwise known as the 5 in 5.
Now like I mentioned previously this friend of mine Anne Reinstein who resides in Florida has been coming over to the UK with her husband who originates from Keswick for the last 3 years to take part in the challenge.
After a couple of years of her trying to persuade me I finally gave in this year at the very last minute. Well just 24hours before the closing cut off point for entries.
And even better I decided to do it with my youngest springer spaniel Poppy so if I got left behind at least I would have some company.
The event is all for a great cause in Multiple Sclerosis UK and you can read more about the challenge and why it was set up here.
So instead of driving up to Keswick on the morning of the walk myself, my wife and 2 dogs drove up the night before and foolishly had the idea of camping out for the night in a small 3 man tent albeit at a very picturesque campsite.
I think I amassed a total of around 3 hours sleep that night, partly down to nerves and partly down to the fact that my wife was snoring and the dogs wanted all the room. Oh and my inflatable mattress decided halfway though the night to giveway and deflate.
The adventure was in full swing.
We were now onto the morning of the walk and after a quick breakfast and packed everything in the car we headed off to the Swinside Inn where the 10 in 10 was starting to pick up Anne’s husband Paul who I met the year before. It was the a short drive to Buttermere for the start of the 5 in 5 and WOW what a drive it was. The scenery was amazing and even though most of it was on a single track road with shear drops off one side you couldn’t help but admire the views.
We arrived in Buttermere in good time and my wife and eldest springer said their goodbyes (yes my dog can speak) and left us raring to go.
Even more exciting news was while we were waiting a mountaineering legend arrived that being Sir Chris Bonington who at 82 years old was also doing the 5 in 5.
After around 40 minutes of waiting Paul and I decided to get moving and the walk begun. Paul mentioned to me several times about the tortoise and the hare and how we would both have good and bad periods throughout the walk (neither of us had really done any or much training).
Within the first 10 minutes my nerves had disappeared and I noticed Paul was breathing quite heavily. As he had already given me the go ahead to go at my own pace I carried on and when I turned around some 5 minutes later he was already some distance away.
I thought maybe it was because Poppy was pulling me at some speed that eventually I would blow up but I felt in the zone and decided to go with the flow.
That was the last I saw of Paul until he finished the walk.
Like I said before the challenge was to walk 5 hills in 5 hours and I would have been very happy to achieve 4 hours and 59 minutes but the more I went on the more I noticed I was on for quite a remarkable time considering the lack of training. I even got to some points on the course where I was jogging and determined to catch people in front of me.
I have to say the whole walk was absolutely amazing and the work from the organisers and marshals was fantastic.
Poppy and I finished the walk which was noted on the website being 11.3 miles in 3 hours and 48 minutes which I was blown away by.
After some socialising with some lovely people after the walk we then drive the 2 hours and 15 minutes home to relax and have a much needed nights sleep.
2 days after the walk my legs are in bits and ache like they’ve never ached before, but I am now determined to get fitter and next year push myself to achieve the 10 in 10.
Next years date has already been set for Saturday 23rd June 2018 so if you want to do something for an amazing cause then go on sign up and give it a go.
You can see alot of photos from the event on the 10 in 10 Facebook page.
Here are some of my photos from the day.
Wow that was certainly a hot one this week, so we made sure the dogs got the chance to have plenty of opportunities to cool down.
This also gave us a very funny moment with Alfie in our little cool down pool at home. You have to see the video on our Facebook page.
Dexter was back this week after a week away from us and we also had a new dog in Rio join us while his owners are away for a few days. He fitted in with the others dogs really well and had a great time playing and chasing around the other dogs, so hopefully we get another chance to walk him again some day.
One thing i did notice was how all the dogs react differently around water. In the 7 dogs i walked last week only my springer spaniel Poppy was the one who just loved jumping in. A few would paddle but most didnt feel to comfortable around it. Whether different dog breeds are more natural swimmers and are not bothered by water would be interesting to know.
I know our 2 springer spaniels had abit of a scare when they were puppies so it took a couple of months for them to get confident enough to go near water again. But once they saw other dogs having a great time they soon became obssessed by water, so hopefully after another few months of trying we may see some more of our dogs getting used to it.
Please check out our website if you need a dog walker or cat sitter as we provide some of, if not the most competitive prices in the area for the services we provide
Here are some of our photos from the last week
After a 2 week holiday for Alfie he was back in the pack today and was happy to see everyone.
Hes such a character and when you don't see him for a few days he greets you and the other dogs with such a cheeky face.
Although for the whole of the week we were also missing Dexter as he was enjoying his own adventure and staying with his owners friends for the week.
But all this doesn't stop us at dogs4walks and we had some fun times over the week. None more so than a trip around Styal and Manchester Airport plus finally they have opened up alot more of the area around Styal and the Quarry Bank Mill. It's alot more accessible for people to walk around there now and as it's so nice it's well worth it.
Jess was also with us for 2 days which gave us some more time to see how she copes off lead and she did really well. It was also the first time she met Alfie which was funny to see. They both loved playing around together and socialising.
The weather was also pretty good for a few days which is nice although nothing compared to what it's been like since Saturday.
So we start onto another week at dogs4walks.
We still have spaces available for group dog walking and cat sitting if anyone is looking for either. You can take a look at some of our reviews here to see how happy the owners are of the services we provide.
So its been a long couple of weeks for us at dogs4walks so there was no blog last week but here's a recap of what we have been up to.
After the Bank Holiday I decided to get the dogs back into the groove with an awesome 10 mile walk around Styal Woods and the Manchester Airport Runway 2 Trail. This certainly got them running around whether it was chasing squirrels or having a race to be the first into the water.
At the end of the week we had our 1st new dog join us who is the one and only Frodo Baggins (yep you did hear me correctly). What a belting name for a dog.
Frodo is a 12 and a half year old terrier cross and is a friend of Alfie the Pug who I walk (hes currently on a 2 week holiday). So I have had the pleasure of walking Frodo for a week while his owners enjoy a break.
I also had a week of cat sitting for some cats I've seen before in Cali and Leo. These 2 cuties are a joy to be around and are so funny when they are playing together.
Also at the end of the week Marley the Staffy/Boxer cross stayed with us for a couple of days of daycare. We went out of our way to make sure he wasn't left alone too long after his owner was let down. There's nothing worse than when you make plans for your pet and somebody lets you down. But then that's why I decided to get into this line of work, to provide a top quality service and go above and beyond what people expect.
The Sunday morning I was up at 5am to go and pick Marley up and he spent the day with us.
Also on Sunday I decided to have some fun with my 2 Springer Spaniels. It seems to me that every walk we go on at least one of them will find a ball. And without realising they all add up and we put them in a bag and forget about them. So while the weather was nice I decided to get the bag and have a look at how many we had. As you can see in the photo we have accumulated quite a few.
So onto the week just gone and not only did we have a new dog to provide daycare too all week (that being Dexter's best mate, we also had another new dog join our walks).
We had Red a Pointer for daycare for the week and WOW what a crazy week it was. Him and Dexter are a right pair together. I was pre warned of the antics they get up to while together and they didn't disappoint. I have never seen another dog hang off another's ears so much. It was as if Red wanted to suck the side of Dexter's face several times a day.
Pippa the pocket rocket was also back from her holidays so Wednesday was full on fun while she was with us. And then our 2nd new dog of the week was a puppy Labrador cross called Jess who has endless amounts of energy.
It was quite a challenge keeping her on the lead for her 1st walk with us and on a few occasions I thought I may end up going for a dip in the River Mersey myself.
On Friday we gave her some off lead time and got a chance to practice her recall which with treats went really well.
And now we get ready for another week. It's going to be fairly quite in the house due to Dexter being away for the week, however we have Alfie back with us this week.
If you need a dog walker or some cat sitting then feel free to contact us. We offer some of the most competitive prices in the area and we really do push the boat out to provide a 1st class service for you and your pet.
Areas we cover are Sale, Sale Moor, Northern Moor, Northenden, Wythenshawe, Gatley and surrounding areas.
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We are Reece & Vanessa and this is the dogs4walks blog where you can read about what we have been up to and things of interest to us that are dog related.