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.